The first human bone marrow transfusion was given to a patient with aplastic anaemia in 1939. By 1969 a clinical trial program in Seattle for allogeneic transplants had been developed. A decade later a cure rate of 50% in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients was being reported. This early research pointed to the power of the immune or body’s cellular system in these early cases to eradicate or ameliorate disease. In 1990, E. Donnall Thomas won a Nobel Prize for his discoveries in cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease.
In recent years allogenic cell transplants have been shown to be effective in treatments beyond blood cancers and by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, autologous, whole stem cell transplants, were being performed in patients with non-responding multiple sclerosis or systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Whole stem cell transplants remain the mainstay of many treatments. However, whole cell transplants were found often to be limited to donor-recipient compatibility and are recognised to come with various risks including tissue rejection, graft versus host disease and tumour development. Chief Scientist Steve Ray’s pioneering discoveries in 1993 on stem cell secretomes, showed their capability of slowing and/or reversing certain disease states, which often potentiates the majority of regeneration, as opposed to the stem cells themselves, when using them as a treatment option. This opened a door to a field of discoveries which use a cell-free approach.
Whilst the wider medical community continued to focus on transplanting whole stem cell, the research into stem cell secretomes progressed relatively undetected for several years.
Micregen's research and development team have focused their research on identifying the repairing factors and optimisation of secretome production from stem cells. In our laboratories, allogeneic stem cell secretomes have been developed as regenerative cell free products, which we refer to as Secretomix.
In so doing, the risks seen in whole cell treatments have been reduced and in some, eliminated entirely.
Improved understanding of these mechanisms, and the optimisation of these effects in vivo may allow earlier and more effective clinical therapies using non-autologous stem cell-derived cell-free therapeutics for intravenous injection. The clinical use of differentiated or undifferentiated stem cell conditioned media provides an attractive, less invasive, safer alternative (minimising neoplasia, reducing immunological risks) to stem cell transplantation.