Stem cell banking an unclear path for regenerative medicine: 4 notes


LifeVault Bio's GoodCell kit allows customers to bank their stem cells for future use, STAT reports, but not all stem cell researchers are on board.

Here are four things to know.

1. LifeVault Bio aims to store customers' stem cells before they age so that they can be used to treat those customers for heart disease, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's if they develop them down the line.

2. A GoodCell kit costs $995, followed by an annual fee of $95.

3. Patients who purchase a GoodCell kit have blood drawn and sent to a lab that stores hematopoietic stem cells found in the blood and other blood cell types that can become induced pluripotent stem cells. The cells could be pulled out of storage when needed, multiplied, and theoretically transformed into specialized cells to create a patient-specific treatment.

4. These stem cell treatments do not yet exist. According to Dan Kaufman, MD, PhD, the director of cell therapy at UC San Diego School of Medicine, it is not clear that stem cells derived from an older person would make for less effective therapies.

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