Cord blood licensed for treatment

Nov. 11, 2011 at 8:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first licensed blood forming cell therapy from human cord blood, and FDA official said.

Dr. Karen Midthun, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Hemacord would be used in stem cell transplantation procedures in patients with disorders affecting the hematopoietic -- blood forming -- system.

For example, cord blood transplants have been used to treat patients with certain blood cancers and some inherited metabolic and immune system disorders, Midthurn said.

"The use of cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cell therapy offers potentially life-saving treatment options for patients with these types of disorders," Midthun said in a statement.

Hemacord contains hematopoietic progenitor cells from human cord blood. Cord blood is one of three sources of hematopoietic progenitor cells used in transplants -- the other two are bone marrow and peripheral blood.

Once these hematopoietic progenitor cells are infused into patients, the cells migrate to the bone marrow where they divide and mature, the FDA said.

When the mature cells move into the bloodstream they can partially or fully restore the number and function of many blood cells, including immune function, Midthun said.

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