Report on the activities of the Association of Cryobanks in 2019
Here comes the end of 2019, which can be regarded as an important step in the history of national and world biobanking of cord blood, other cells and tissues. Thanks to the efforts of licensed cryobanks around the world, cryopreservation of human cells and tissues has emerged as an important and necessary industry for the health care industry. Let’s summarize the key achievements of the Cryobank Association in 2019.
- Availability of licensed and one ISO-accredited cryobank on the Ukrainian market of perinatal tissues banking (umbilical cord blood, placenta, umbilical cord).
The main mission of the Association of cryobanks is to promote the development of licensed biobanks of cord blood stem cells, other human cells and tissues on the medical market of Ukraine. Actually the Ukraine’s first Cryobank, created yet in 2003 at the Institute of Cell Therapy has repeatedly confirmed the prestigious international accrediation ISO, obtained yet in 2013. Cryobank’s international accreditation demonstrates the company’s compliance with international quality standards.
- Expanding the range of services for the storage of perinatal tissues (umbilical cord blood, placenta, umbilical cord) in the medical market of Ukraine, introduction of new services and optimization of protocols.
In 2003, the Institute of Cell Therapy, the first Cryobank of Ukraine, for the first time in the history of our independent state offered to parents the service of cord blood storage, and today families wishing to provide their children with an additional supply of health for many years are also able to store the placental and umbilical cord stem cells. Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy is one of the world’s few biobanks with the largest experience in manufacturing placental drugs. Thus, the placenta extract, produced by the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy, as a unique biological product, is suitable even for intravenous administration.
- Successful completion of clinical trials using cryopreserved human cells and tissues.
The Association of Cryobanks has repeatedly reported the status of ongoing and completed clinical trials on evaluation of the safety and efficacy of cord blood, other human tissues and cells in Ukraine under the auspices of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. In 2019, in Ukraine, one more clinical study “The effectiveness of the use of cryopreserved human amniotic membrane in the treatment of keratitis of infectious and neurotrophic etiology”, conducted by the Institute of Cell Therapy in conjunction with the State Institute of Ophthalmology and Tissue Therapy n.a. V.P. Filatov of Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. This trial has proven the effectiveness of the use of placental tissue in the treatment of keratitis and the innovative method of treatment of corneal diseases, developed by the Institute of Cell Therapy will be implemented in practical health care.
- Launch of new clinical trials using cryopreserved cells and human tissues.
The development of regenerative medicine in Ukraine is evidenced by the registration of new treatments for diseases based on the use of stem cells and the approval of new clinical trials by the Coordination Center for Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Thus, in 2019, the Institute of Cell Therapy received permission to conduct a clinical study “Evaluation of the effectiveness of bone marrow and placental stem cells in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis”.
- Participation in the international scientific project “International Network for Translational Research on Perinatal Tissues Derivatives for Therapeutic Use”, supported by a COST Action CA17116 grant.
The development of modern science, especially in such techno-intensive fields as molecular and cell biology, cryobiology, bio-banking of human cells and tissues, requires teamwork and international integration. The national Cryobank, established at the Institute of Cell Therapy, participated in the implementation of the transnational scientific project Thymistem (budget EUR 6.1 million). Today, the co-founder and full member of the Association of Cryobanks, the Institute of Cell Therapy, is a member of the European Cooperative for Science and Technology and participates in the implementation of the international scientific project Cost action CA 17116 (within the framework of the European Union Horizont 2020 program) for the study of perinatal tissues (umbilical cord, placenta).
- Participation in an international scientific project “The Impact of Circulating Viral Transactivator Proteins (HIV-1 Tat and EBV Zta) on Gene Expression in B-Cell Lymphomagenesis” supported by a grant under a scientific collaboration between Ukraine and France.
High qualification of national scientists and modern equipment of the first Ukrainian Cryobank allows the Institute of Cell Therapy to carry out high-tech scientific research in the field of molecular biology, the results of which create the prerequisites for the development of new cell and genetically engineered preparations. The Association of cryobanks includes a department of international cooperation, which facilitates the integration of national scientists and research centers with leading foreign research institutions.
- Work of Ukrainian biologists at the Gustave Russi Institute, a leading European oncology center.
Implementing the grant project in the framework of the cooperation between Ukraine and France a Deputy Director of Cryobank Dr. V.A. Chablii, PhD and Dr. I.Ya. Skripkina, PhD conducted scientific research at the Gustave Russi Institute during 2.09-31.09.2019 and 2.09-7.11.2019. The results of the studies are of practical importance for optimizing the treatment of malignant diseases in the world, and the unique professional experience, which our scientific staff received at the best European medical center, is being implemented in the daily work of Cryobank laboratories.
- Collaboration with international professional communities – ISCT, IPLASS, IFPA, ISSCR.
The Association of Cord Blood, Other Human Cells and Tissues is the only professional organization in Ukraine that brings together licensed biobanks, biotechnology companies, academic and research institutions working in the field of cryopreservation of cells and tissues. The Association of Cryobanks has the opportunity to exchange professional information with the International Society of Cell Therapy, the International Society of Placental Stem Cells, the International Federation of Placenta Associations through the membership of the co-founder and full member of the Association – the Institute of Cell Therapy in numerous international professional communities.
- Edition of the professional journal “Cellular and Organ Transplantology”
Since 2013, with the support of the Association of Cryobanks, the exclusive scientific and practical journal “Cell and Organ Transplantology” has been published in Ukraine. The journal is included in the list of professional journals of Ukraine and is intended for a wide range of doctors, scientists, students of medicine and biology, who are interested in the issues of cell and organ transplantology or are working in this field. The journal is indexed in international science databases, including Google Scholar, Copernicus Index, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, NLM Catalog, CiteFactor, International Scientific Indexing, and the Open Academic Journals Index. The journal is also registered in the Pubmed database.
- Active public and educational work
An important area of activity of the Association of cryobanks is active educational work, aimed at raising awareness of both the medical community and future parents and the population of Ukraine about the biological value of perinatal tissues (umbilical cord blood, placenta, umbilical cord) and the use of cell drugs in the treatment of diseases. In 2019, the Association of Cryobanks has joined such educational events as “July – the month of cord blood awareness”, “World Breastfeeding Week”, “World Diabetes Day”, “World Cord Blood Day”.