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BioE confirms stem cell breakthrough in lung cancer

2nd November 2006

By Victoria Harrison

BioE has confirmed its Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell is the first human cord blood stem cell to differentiate into a type of lung cell.

The study showed that the stem cell could differentiate into a type II alveolar lung cell. This advance in adult stem cell research could someday lead to treatments for patients with lung diseases. Type II alveolar cells are responsible for secreting a material that helps stabilize the lung's air sacs during respiration. The Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell (MLPC) is a rare stem cell derived from human umbilical cord blood that was discovered by BioE and has shown the capacity to turn into multiple cell and tissue types.

Advertisement"Based on this research, it's quite possible the MLPC will have utility as a highly functional research tool for studying lung pathophysiology in a human model. We hope to translate this early success with the MLPC into future research breakthroughs that ultimately provide therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from lung injuries and respiratory disease," said David McKenna, medical director of the Clinical Cell Therapy Lab at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

As a result of the research the University of Minnesota and BioE recently entered into a joint research collaboration to further evaluate the use of the MLPC for creating airway epithelial cells, such as type II alveolar cells, that could aid in combating diseases such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary injury. This new research is expected to conclude in mid-2008.

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