Report on the activities of the Association of Cryobanks in 2017

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Established in 2013, the Association of Cryobanks of the umbilical cord blood stem cells, other human cells and tissues remains the Ukraine’s only professional association in this field, promoting the development of biobanks within the legal framework, defends the rights of consumers of the services of the industry and players of the national biotechnological market.

In 2017, upon the initiative of the Association of Cryobanks several roundtables were held to discuss current issues and prospects for cryopreservation of biomaterials in Ukraine and harmonization of legal regulation of the industry. During the year our experts were also providing professional advice on individual inquiries regarding the opportunities of storage of the umbilical cord blood, human placenta, reproductive cells and tissues in Ukraine as well as cell therapy.

To date, the academic members of the Association of Cryobanks are the Institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine of AMS of Ukraine, the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NAN of Ukraine, the National Shalimov Institute of Surgery and Transplantology of AMS of Ukraine, Sitenko Institute of Spine and Joint Pathology of AMS of Ukraine.

In 2017, a world-renowned scientific and medical institution in the field of ophthalmology, the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of AMS of Ukraine became the academic member of the Association of Cryobanks.

In 2017, a number of important international scientific conferences were held with the informational support and participation of the Association of Cryobanks: the 7th international Weigl conference (September 26-29, 2017, Lviv), the international scientific conference on integrative biology and medicine (2-7 October 2017, Kiev), international scientific conference “Innovative directions in genetic and regenerative medicine (November 9-10, 2017, Kiev).

It was the 5th year that with the support of the Association of Cryobanks, the scientific and practical journal, unique in its specialization, “Cell and Organ Transplantology”, founded by the Institute of Cell Therapy, a co-founder and a full member of the Association of Cryobanks, was published in Ukraine. The journal is included in the main international scientometric databases and in the list of scientific journals approved by the Department of Attestation of Ukraine.

Research institutes that are members of the Association of Cryobanks during 2017 managed to achieve significant success in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases using cell technologies developed in Ukraine. So, in November 2017 the associates of the Amosov Institute of Cardiac Surgery of AMS of Ukraine performed a unique operation – for the first time in the world during the surgery of aorto-coronary bypass, the umbilical cord blood stem cells, cryoconserved by the Institute of Cell Therapy cryobank due to the own method, were injected into the heart of a patient with a severe heart failure. The success of the operation overexceeded all the most optimistic expectations of both doctors and the patient himself.

And the scientists of the National Shalimov Institute of Transplantology of AMS of Ukraine, in cooperation with the Institute of Cell Therapy (both medical centers are members of the Association of Cryobanks) managed to rehabilitate a 28-year-old man, ATO soldier, with cardiomyopathy using cord blood stem cells. The patient was being prepared for heart transplant, but cell therapy restored his damaged heart to such an extent that heart transplantation was no longer indicated.

For 2018, the Association of Cryobanks has already planned a participation in the 11th Annual Conference on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; further support of safe innovative projects of the Association members on the treatment of socially important diseases using stem cells; participation in optimization of legal regulation of banking and the use of human cells and tissues in Ukraine; protection of the rights of consumers of the services in the biotechnological industry; promotion of the development of proven and licensed biotechnologies in Ukraine on the principle of fair competition.

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