A joint venture between Gamida Cell and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) will carry out a study at Western Pennsylvania Hospital (WPH). WPH is currently enrolling patients for the study.
The ExCell study will assess the safety and efficacy of StemEx as a treatment for hematological malignancies, including leukemia and lymphoma, in a single arm, global, pivotal registration study.
StemEx is a graft of expanded stem/progenitor cells, derived from a single unit of umbilical cord blood and transplanted in combination with non expanded cells from the same unit. It is being developed by a joint venture equally owned and managed by Gamida Cell and Teva.
Western Pennsylvania Cancer Institute director of cell transplantation program Dr. Entezam Sahovic said, “Stem cell transplantation can be a life-saving procedure, but the need for matching donors limits its use. Umbilical cord blood is a promising alternative but does not always provide enough stem cells for a successful transplant. We are hopeful that this new technology will enable us to help more patients in need of transplants.”
Cord blood has less matching requirements than bone marrow or peripheral blood transplants, providing the potential to increase the number of suitable transplant matches and to shorten the time it can take to find a match. However, there are a limited number of stem/progenitor cells in cord blood, enabling a quantity sufficient generally only for pediatric treatment. StemEx employs a technology that expands this small number of cord blood stem/progenitor cells, increasing their therapeutic capacity for transplantation in adolescents and adults.
The Western Pennsylvania Hospital is an academic medical center with two hospital campuses that serve Pittsburgh and the surrounding area - the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania Hospital - Forbes Regional Campus in Monroeville. Gamida Cell Ltd. develops stem cell expansion technologies and therapeutic products. The company is developing a pipeline of products in stem cell transplantation and in tissue regeneration to effectively treat debilitating and often fatal illnesses such as cancer, hematological, autoimmune, and ischemic diseases.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 19, 2009
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