CELL PRESERVATION RESEARCH – A NEW FRONTIER
– Momentum Public Relations –
“The planet’s hope and salvation lies in the adoption of revolutionary new knowledge being revealed at the frontiers of science” – Bruce Lipton
Although Dr. Lipton may not be universally revered in mainstream science, his comment is noteworthy. Medical science and technology continue to break new ground. New compounds and techniques are in the testing stage that offer promising treatments to address a variety of life threatening conditions.
Investors are noticing. Investment, specifically in cell preservation research, is growing very rapidly. New breakthroughs are demonstrating that cell storage is achievable in the near term. Advances in cell preservation compounds coupled with new storage protocols have the potential to vastly improve treatment protocols and, ultimately, outcomes for a variety of diseases.
David Juncker, an expert in high-throughput cell analysis from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, has stated that “cell preservation and manipulation is of great interest”. While it has many variations, cell preservation can be useful in areas as diverse as stem cell storage, reproductive science, transplants, treatment of various cancers and the storage of blood products.
Recently, Sirona Biochem Corporation (SBM:tsxv), a development-stage biotechnology company with a market cap of C$29.4 million has entered into a research collaboration with Dr. Caigan Du. http://www.vchri.ca/researchers/caigan-du
The collaboration between Sirona and Dr. Du will evaluate and test the effects of new compounds, produced by Sirona’s subsidiary TFChem, for use in the preservation of red blood cells. Scientists will evaluate the potential for improvement in the quality of red blood cells after hypothermic storage and cryopreservation. Eventually, testing will begin on other cell lines with further research related to tissue preservation for applications such as organ transplant. The initial testing will begin in May with results expected in fourth quarter 2016.
Current typical storage of donated blood is limited to approximately 42 days. If scientists can successfully design a process that prevents the degradation or spoilage of blood products it will have the potential to save lives at times of disaster. It will also allow blood banks to maintain a supply of rare blood types and lessen overall blood inventory losses. Scientists concur that there is a global unmet need when it comes to storage and shelf life of blood products. A process that extends the shelf life would significantly improve the ability to use donated blood.
The use of preservation techniques, both cryopreservation and hypothermic storage, is already widespread both in laboratory and clinical settings. The challenge has been that the specific protocols and process utilized for preserving cells have specific limitations. As such, they tend to provide suboptimal results and often do not incorporate modern day preservation media, which can offer significant improvements over serum/DMSO cocktails. Additionally, many of the techniques commonly applied to assess cryopreservation success are inferior based on modern day standards.
Frontiers are expanding as further research into areas like tissue preservation for applications such as organ transplant is showing promising results. Most experts agree that one of the important keys to success is in the discovery and refinement of the compounds and media that are a limiting factor in current cell preservation processes. Investors should evaluate the various emerging opportunities to take positions in firms that are leading the way.