|Cryo-Cell Making Strategic Moves|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Tuesday, 17 August 2010 07:44|
The first of only two companies (Cryo-Cell and NeoStem) which generate revenues in the stem cell sector is starting to call attention to itself with back-to-back announcements. Yesterday, Cryo-Cell (OTC:CCEL), which has been featured in this space in the past, announced that it has engaged Morgan Joseph LLC, a full service investment bank, to evaluate strategic acquisition opportunities available to enhance value for Cryo-Cell's shareholders. Morgan Joseph's Healthcare Investment Banking Group will serve as the Company's exclusive financial advisor and investment banker to evaluate a broad range of strategic growth acquisitions for Cryo-Cell's global cord blood banking business and the Company's proprietary CelleSM menstrual stem cell technology portfolio and to manage any prospective transaction process that may evolve from such evaluation.
Research published in the prestigious American Society of Immunology publication, Journal of Immunology describes how Monash scientists have used a gene therapy strategy to treat autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes affect significant numbers of the population as a result of an individual's immune system attacking its own tissues.
In their research with bone marrow stem cells, Dr. James Chan and his colleagues at the University's Centre of Inflammatory Diseases, Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS), developed a strategy that involves the isolation and genetic manipulation of bone marrow cells together with bone marrow transplantation to promote tolerance by the immune system. Bone marrow stem cells are routinely isolated from humans for various disease treatments and may potentially be used to promote tolerance. This approach may offer a viable strategy of manipulating the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells that would normally be involved in inducing disease.
"Our research collaboration with Cryo-Cell will determine if the stem cells found in menstrual blood may potentially be utilized to manipulate the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells associated with multiple sclerosis," stated Dr. James Chan from MNHS at Monash University. "The menstrual stem cell may potentially provide the added benefit of being highly prolific, non-invasive and cost-effective in the development of future cellular therapies to treat this debilitating autoimmune disease."
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the body's immune system erodes the protective sheath covering the nerve. As a result, communication between the brain and the body is disrupted. The disease may cause the irreversible deterioration of nerves and in severe cases, individuals may lose the ability to walk or speak. Multiple sclerosis is estimated to affect approximately 2.5 million people worldwide.
The partnership between Cryo-Cell and MNHS will support an exciting new area of research that will investigate potential benefits of a new and non-invasive way to utilize Cryo-Cell's proprietary menstrual blood stem cell technology to potentially manipulate the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells that would normally be involved in inducing multiple sclerosis. This concept may further demonstrate potential to reverse established disease.
"We are quite honored to partner with Dr. Chan and Monash University, a world-class globally recognized research institute to explore the potential utilization of Cryo-Cell's proprietary Celle menstrual stem cell technology in the future development of novel therapies to treat the devastating disease of multiple sclerosis that affects millions of people," said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell's Chairman and CEO. "In the U.S. alone multiple sclerosis statistics show that approximately 250,000 to 350,000 individuals have been diagnosed with this life-impacting disease at an estimated annual cost of in the billions of dollars."
Cryo-Cell has nearly 215,000 clients worldwide in addition to twenty-one global license affiliates. The Company's cord blood banking business continues to generate strong recurring revenues; global revenue growth and operating profitability. The Company also maintains significant cash reserves and has no long-term debt on its balance sheet. Cryo-Cell believes that its highly differentiated growth strategy creates significant opportunities through the Company's Celle proprietary menstrual stem cell technology.