Cell Medication to Treat Neutropenia and Acute Radiation
Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) results from myelotoxic treatments for oncologic diseases, nuclear terrorism and nuclear accidents. ARS is a medical condition whereby there is a marked reduction in the number of blood cells due to the high susceptibility of blood forming cells (hematopoietic stem cells) to chemotherapy or irradiation toxicity. Among other symptoms, ARS results in severe anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia which leave patients susceptible to lethal infections, uncontrolled bleeding and increased morbidity and mortality.
Two strategies are presently available to treat ARS-related neutropenia. The first, autologous (self) bone marrow transplantation, is applicable only for cancer patients as it involves collection and freezing of the cancer patient's blood cells prior to chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and re-transplantation of the cells after the completion of the chemotherapy treatment. The second strategy, applicable for treatment of cancer patients as well as nuclear terrorism or accident victims, involves enhancement of blood cell recovery using growth factors. This approach shortens neutropenia by only a few days and does not consistently improve survival.
To address this unmet need, Gamida Cell is developing an off-the-shelf cell product to treat ARS. The product, CordBridge, is designed to provide an immediate and efficacious treatment for ARS patients. The readily-available bridging cell graft is highly enriched with the cells required to protect against opportunistic infections and uncontrolled bleeding. It is intended to provide protection during the self-recovery time when the patient's own blood cells (autologous recovery) are reforming. CordBridge will mainly serve as a salvage treatment to reduce morbidity and mortality of nuclear terrorism and accident victims both in civilian and military scenarios.
Pre-clinical studies demonstrate rapid recovery of blood cells, rescue from lethal infections, and substantial improvement in and survival of animals treated with CordBridge, compared to animals treated with cells grown without Gamida Cell technology or with non-expanded populations of bone marrow cells.
Gamida Cell intends to enter a clinical trial to test the protective effects of CordBridge in cancer patients treated with high doses of chemotherapy or irradiation.
CordBridge is manufactured from readily available umbilical cord blood units and is being developed as a frozen off-the-shelf product, ready-to-use for IV administration.