VetCell Therapeutics Asia, a wholly owned subsidiary of VetCell Therapeutics, is located in Hong Kong, in a building with dedicated laboratories for research, cell processing and long term storage of cell products. We are centrally located amongst the booming veterinary clinics in Hong Kong and the surrounding markets in Asia, where we can offer timely and reliable delivery service. This will ensure that your patient receives their cellular therapy with the freshest and healthiest cells.
VetCell Therapeutics is located in California and has over 12 years of industry experience in the regenerative medicine and research field. Led by experienced veterinarians and senior scientists, we run state of the art facilities and are composed of a motivated group of researchers that are dedicated to therapeutic discoveries and excellence. We are at the cutting edge of stem cells research and we strive to discover and develop the safest, most efficacious cellular therapies for a range of conditions.
Treatable Medical Conditions:
Our initial treatment program is aimed at canines affected by osteoarthritis (OA). We are currently developing treatments for other conditions such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), atopy and other allergic conditions, chronic kidney disease, stomatitis, tendon and ligament injuries, non-union bone fractures and potentially more. In the future we plan to expand our therapeutic platforms to include treatments for feline and equine patients.
Adipose Derived Stem Cells:
Adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) are considered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). They are part of the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) which is isolated from adult fat (adipose) tissue. ADSCs are an abundant cell population and fat tissue is easy to obtain with minimal risk to our donors. ADSCs are considered multipotent and have been shown to have mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) characteristics to preferentially differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic cell types, without generating tumors. This is unlike embryonic stem cells (ESCs) which produces tumors in vivo and are deemed as pluripotent, meaning that they can generate all tissue types. ADSCs are a unique cell source that is safe and effective for disease conditions.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) that are present in the Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) of fat tissue have been shown to have the ability to differentiate into chondrocytes and osteocytes to make new cartilage and bone respectively. They have the ability to undergo myogenic differentiation which highlights their potential for muscle and cardiac related therapies. They have been shown to be chondroprotective, anti-fibrotic and reduce progression of osteoarthritis, block pain and be anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrotic. MSCs have the ability to home in to injury sites, stimulate angiogenesis and can recruit nascent stem cells for tissue regeneration. Interestingly, they are also thought to have an immunomodulatory effect which makes them a potential candidate for allogeneic cellular therapies. Furthermore, in vivo ADSC treatments have been deemed safe and efficacious in numerous autologous and allogenic animal models, as well as animal and human clinical trials. They meet the following criteria described for the ideal stem cell for regenerative medicinal applications:
- Cells are found in abundant quantities;
- Tissue can be harvested with minimally invasive procedures;
- Cells can be differentiated along multiple cell lineage pathways in a controlled manner;
- Cells can be safely and effectively transplanted, preferably with a minimally invasive procedure;
- Cell product can be produced under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines.
These cells can potentially regenerate damaged cartilage in diseased joints to restore normal function, with lasting anti-inflammatory effects. These properties can greatly improve mobility, reduce pain and improve the animal’s overall quality of life. The long term use of medications in pain management may also be discontinued or reduced, which will reduce the risk of toxic side effects of these drugs.
Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a degenerative disease of joints that occurs as a primary disease in aging patients but can also occur as a secondary disease in younger patients. Primary OA is a result of normal or abnormal forces on an otherwise normal joint. This disease generally takes years of wear and tear before clinical symptoms manifest, but in young patients that have predisposing conditions such as hip dysplasia (HD) or elbow dysplasia, symptoms may manifest as early as 1-2 years old. Secondary OA occurs due to some insult to the diseased joint, such as joint trauma or infection followed by normal or abnormal forces on an abnormal joint.
OA involves cartilage degeneration, fibrillation and loss, inflammation and hyperplasia of the synovial membrane, abnormal proliferation of bone (osteophyte production) and eventually exposure of subchondral bone. All of these changes can elicit varying degrees of pain and lameness. The patient’s overall demeanor may also be affected by clinical signs, such as depression, lethargy and inappetence.
General MSC Stem Cell Treatment Procedure:
After the diagnosis of OA is made, the veterinarian in Hong Kong will order a frozen dose of canine MSCs from California. The MSCs will be transferred from California to Hong Kong by air, and will be transported to our laboratory in Hong Kong. Upon arrival, the MSCs are thawed under strict protocol, which will be prepared into a syringe ready for injection. The syringe of cells are then shipped in a specialty package to where the injection is to be conducted by the veterinarian. On the day of treatment, the patient will undergo mild sedation in order to inject the stem cells into the affected joint(s). The patient will be placed on a strict post operation recovery plan involving rest followed by a physical therapy program.
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