Crohn’s disease trial uses stem cells taken from Placentas

Officials remark at the World Stem Cell Summit that a placenta provides a home for a baby, keeps the mom's body from rejecting it and soon could help patients suffering from Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

Steven A. Fischkoff, vice president, clinical and medical affairs at Celgene Cellular Therapeutics says that patients with Crohn's disease, which inflames the digestive tract, have shown improvement with placenta-derived stem cells, which are adult stem cells.


The New Jersey-based biotech company is moving into the second phase of a Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial that uses placenta
stem cells in patients with Crohn's disease. It also is beginning a trial with patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Soon it is planning to seek FDA approval to use the placenta stem cells in patients suffering from stroke, based on the work of a neurology researcher at Henry Ford Health System.

"This could potentially affect a lot of people … and if we are successful, we will reduce the chances that people will have to go into nursing homes
or rely on someone for care," Fischkoff said during the last day of the World Stem Cell Summit. "What really scares people with a many of these
diseases is that they lose their independence."

Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News
October 06. 2010