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Cord Blood Donation Program Success - 6 Months Bring 500+ Donations

The Indianapolis Star, August 28, 2007

The 500 mark for cord blood volunteer donations has been surpassed by an Indianapolis business and hospital.  The program was established 7 months ago, and takes donations from newborns.

Instead of discarding the cord after birth, the option of donating blood from the umbilical cord is given to parents at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis.  Treatments for genetic disorders and chronic diseases can be developed from research using donated cord blood stem cells.

Cheryl Boys-Fore, St. Francis nurse practitioner and co-principal investigator, said in a statement issued Monday, "The impact of this research is immense on the future treatment of disease and we are proud to be a part of this endeavor."

The creation of tissues, organs, blood vessels, and tissues in the immune system start wit stem cells.  Cord blood is a potent source of adult stem cells when collected at birth.

The rapid development of new manufacturing technologies used in producing adult stem-cell therapeutics derived from cord blood has been boosted by the donations said Paul Hyslop, EndGenitor vice president of research and development.

"EndGenitor is currently evaluating its products in pre-clinical animal models of human disease, and initial results from these studies are very encouraging," Hyslop said in the statement.

The hospital said the identities of donors in the EndGenitor-St. Francis program are kept confidential and that there is no risk to mothers and children donating cord blood after delivery.

Cord blood collection kits are provided to St. Francis by EndGenitor, which is Indiana's only adult endothelial stem-cell company.  They are also responsible for the transport of the material.  Through the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, the company also sponsors continuing education to the hospital's nursing staff.


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