Why use Stem Cell Factors?

Cell therapy using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has shown considerable promise in animal models and clinical trials of human diseases such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others. The chronic nature of these diseases may require lifelong treatment with stem cells. The high cost of cells and multiple hospital visits may limit access to cell therapy for many patients with chronic illness.

Stem cells secrete a mixture of proteins, polysaccharides, and membrane enclosed vesicles in nutrient medium. This mixture is called secretome, or Stem Cell Factors (SCFs). Numerous studies demonstrated that administration of SCFs in laboratory animals can be complementary to cell therapy or even as effective as injections of live stem cells (reviewed in [ref; ref; ref]).

Although Stem Cell Factors cannot replace live cells, they have several advantages:

  1. The total cost of Stem Cell Factors is lower than the cost of cryopreserved live stem cells.
  2. SCFs can be stabilized to resist degradation at ambient temperatures (25°C to 45°C), which further reduces costs associated with cold storage and shipping.
  3. Concentration and composition of SCFs can be controlled outside a patient’s body. For example, unwanted cytokines and growth factors can be depleted.
  4. SCFs can be administered by a nurse outside a hospital setting.

Topical formulations of SCFs can be self-administered (nasal sprays, eye drops, wound dressings, and powders).

What are Stem Cell Factors?

Stem Cell Factors (SCFs) are a mixture of proteins, polysaccharides, and membrane enclosed vesicles that cells secrete in nutrient medium. The mixture contains bioactive proteins (e.g. cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, matricellular proteins, and collagenase inhibitors), and microvesicles containing coding RNA and microRNA involved in gene regulation.

SCFs are physiological mixtures of secreted proteins and microvesicles, similar to platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Stem Cell Factors, however, contain a significantly greater number of bioactive proteins than PRP. Nutrient medium, conditioned by hypoxic mesenchymal stem cells, contains over 30 bioactive proteins involved in wound healing. PRP, in contrast, contains just 3 major growth factors: PDGF, IGF-I and TGF-beta-1 [ref; ref].

Where do the Stem Cell Factors come from? (Manufacturing)

SCFs come from Stemedica’s adult allogeneic stem cell lines, grown under physiological low oxygen levels (US Patent 8,420,394 entitled “Culturing Ectodermal Cells Under Reduced Oxygen Tension”), which is their natural environment in the body. Compared with cells grown under abnormally high atmospheric oxygen, in vitro experiments demonstrate that physiologically-grown cells show greater homing and engraftment [ref], and secrete higher levels of bioactive proteins involved in angiogenesis and wound healing.

Stemedica is an FDB-licensed manufacturer of cGMP, clinical-grade stem cells currently used in several worldwide approved clinical trials, including the USA. All of our SCFs are derived directly from culturing these cGMP clinical-grade stem cells.