Frankfurt - June 14, 2017 - The ANOVA IRM Stem Cell Center has opened its doors in Frankfurt, Germany offering a groundbreaking new treatment option to patients worldwide.
Stem Cell therapies have long been thought to have huge therapeutic potential. Stem Cells, as our bodies own building blocks, have a vast potential for regeneration but also immune modulation for diseases where the immune system starts to malfunction like in auto immune or chronic inflammatory diseases.
There are several thousand clinical trials which involve stem cell in one way or another. Many of these ongoing clinical trials and stem cell research is based on autologous (patient’s own) Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). These type of stem cells are relatively easy to obtain from a patient via bone marrow blood or fat tissue and have been shown to hold vast healing potential. However, the results from the past were not always that significant as it appeared that in some cases the MSCs were inactive.
More than a decade passed until around 2010 the importance of the so called extracellular vesicles became clear. Most of the stem cell therapeutic activity is actually from what the stem cells secrete, not from the stem cell growing in the body and replacing damaged tissue as originally anticipated. The Stem Cell secretome produce tiny “communication vesicles” (paracrine soluble factors) that interact with surrounding (stem) cells. Healthy Mesenchymal Stem Cells do this intensively with signals that have almost exclusively "positive" effects on surrounding cells and hence change not only the local tissue environment but also the whole immune system. The properties of the secreted factors are anti-inflammatory, neuro- and angio-trophic, immune modulatory, anti-apoptotic, neuroprotective and anti-oxidatory. “There is no drug in the world which even remotely offers all these positive properties with a near-zero side effect profile,” says Prof. Stehling, founder and visionary of the stem cell center.
The scientific reach of these extracellular vesicles exploded from that moment forward uncovering the vast potential of micro-RNA packed exosomes, microvesicles and many other so called cytokines the stem cells produce. A new class of therapeutics was born with the stem cells used as a factory to produce these healing properties in a controlled fashion. A far cry from the injection of stem cells in the hope they they would secrete some of the substances in the right way.
About the center
The ANOVA IRM Stem Cell Center is the first commercial center to have developed such a method and successfully applied it for a growing range of diseases. “Stem Cell Secretome therapy fundamentally changes stem cell therapy in medicine in general. We are not only able to create much higher doses of the essential factors of stem cells, but also have much higher level of control on what we actually inject and can for the first time really design for results. We can also design a therapy plan with many injections over a long period of time, a point that was often criticized when stem cells were used for chronic or even degenerative conditions. A single injection can only help for a certain time“ says Prof. Dr. Atta, director and chief physician in the ANOVA IRM stem cell center.
“Another factor which is fundamental to why we think the therapy is ready for application is the safety. Stem Cell therapies, while relatively safe compared to most pharmaceutical therapies, hold some intrinsic safety risk, one of the reasons they are not yet a standard procedure and rightfully heavily regulated. All of these safety risks can thankfully be excluded with the stem cell secretome. Essentially we have the concentrated effect without the risk.”
While clinical results will take some years to be produced, it holds huge potential for all diseases where stem cells are currently applied.
Applications to date
We are currently conducting research in cooperation with Prof. Bonnetti, University of Verona, who does the pre- and post assessment of patients with ALS, an absolutely devastating disease. In the absence of public funding we currently treat these patients for pure material costs in order to understand as quickly as possible how this treatment can help them. We are delighted to report that currently the secretome shows promising results. The same can be said of our treatment of Parkinson patients with initial encouraging results paving the way for an increased frequency of treatment.
The benefits also extend into less devastating but nonetheless important issues in the sporting field. With orthopedic problems like osteoarthritis or cartilage-related damage on the rise we have already treated several top level professional athletes from both NHL and NFL, all with encouraging results and all of them now returning frequently.
Another extremely interesting and promising property of the stem cell secretome is that it appears to have a temporal reversing effect on some of the fundamental aging mechanisms of cellular aging which is why it is also of highest interest for the cosmetic industry.
Proven track record
Under the strategic leadership of Prof. Dr. Stehling, The ANOVA Institute for Regenerative Medicine employs a multi-disciplinary team of experts from all over the world to provide patients with the best diagnostics and care, influenced by the latest developments in research. The private clinic already has a 10 year track record of excellence in diagnostic and interventional radiology and translational medicine offering state of the art diagnostics in particular. With the addition of the Stem Cell center it has become an institution almost symbolic for the excellence of applied stem cell therapies. As you would expect GMP methods are employed for safety testing in coordination with, and in full compliance of, the regulatory authority in Germany.
The ANOVA Institute for Regenerative Medicine and its Stem Cell center is located in at Strahlenberger Str. 100, Frankfurt/Offenbach, Germany, approximately 15 minutes from the Airport.
More information can be found at anova-irm-stemcell-center.com or by calling +49 69 50 50 00 944.
Michael Craig | DDFH&B
T +353 1 410 6666
M +353 87 673 4866