Robert J. Hariri, MD, PhD, on Cord Blood Awareness Month 2023

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The founder, chairman, and CEO of Celularity shared his view on the importance of cord blood-derived cells for the medical and clinical community.

“I think it's important for the general medical and clinical communities to recognize that cellular medicine is here to stay.... The clinical community should recognize that cell therapy will be part of the toolset they have to bring to treat patients. That being said, when you consider that the byproducts of full-term healthy pregnancies can be recovered with no risk to the donor, with extremely attractive procurement economics, and have the ability to be produced at very, very large scale—this represents, in my mind, the best platform for the rapidly emerging fields of cell and regenerative medicine—and so, I think clinicians should recognize that no placenta should go wasted or unused.”

Cord Blood Awareness Month, observed annually in July, is intended to raise awareness regarding the importance of umbilical cord blood, and the materials derived from it, in the treatment of numerous diseases and conditions. Placental-derived stem cells have the potential to provide an alternative starting material for advanced cell therapy products that avoid the high costs and inherent challenges of using autologous cells and may have a lower risk of provoking an immune response compared to other types of allogeneic cells. Furthermore, placental cells are a widely available, inexpensive resource that can be obtained with no risk to donors. Currently, the vast majority of placental cells resulting from childbirths are disposed of as waste materials, and many institutions even pay to have the “waste” incinerated.

CGTLive™ recently satdown with Robert J. Hariri, MD, PhD, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Celularity, a company that specializes in the development of placental-derived cell therapies and biomaterials products, to discuss the utility of cord blood to the medical field. He emphasized the growing importance of cell therapy in a wide range of indications and gave his view on the most important take-home messages for the medical community for Cord Blood Awareness Month. He also spoke about the therapeutic areas where placental-derived stem cell therapies have the most potential to provide novel treatment options.

REFERENCE
Ceulularity. Harnessing the power of the placenta. Website. Accessed August 23, 2023. https://celularity.com/about/robert-j-hariri/

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