Traditionally, on New Year’s Eve we review the past year, analyze our achievements, make plans for the coming year. 2020 turned out to be a difficult one for the whole world, and especially for the medical community, because it was the medical workers who had to stand “at the forefront” of the fight against a previously unknown disease – COVID-19. The pandemic has probably affected all industries and services, forcing a shift to new formats. But we not only stood, but despite the difficult working conditions, all departments of the Institute of Cell Therapy can boast of achievements and accomplishments.
1.Confirmation of the prestigious international accreditation ISO 9001:2018
In 2013, Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy was the first among Ukrainian umbilical cord blood banks to receive international ISO accreditation. And in 2020, the Institute of Cell Therapy for the third time confirmed its compliance with the important international quality certificate ISO 9001:2018. This means that the activities of all divisions of the Institute of Cell Therapy (Clinic, Cryobank, Centre of Science) are carried out in accordance with ISO quality standards.
2.The beginning of the clinical trial “Treatment of coronavirus COVID-19 pneumonia (SARS-CoV-2 pathogen) with cryopreserved allogeneic multipotent mesenchymal placental stem cells”
Immediately responding to the first reports from China about the effectiveness of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of severe COVID-19, doctors and scientists at the Institute of Cell Therapy developed a method of treating coronavirus pneumonia using placental mesenchymal stem cells. In March 2020, jointly with Kiev Municipal Clinical Hospital №4 a clinical trial “Treatment of coronavirus COVID-19 pneumonia (SARS-CoV-2 pathogen) with cryopreserved allogeneic multipotent mesenchymal placental stem cells” started under the auspices of the Coordination Center for Organ, Tissue and Cell Transplantation of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
3.Post-COVID rehabilitation and treatment program for chronic COVID
It has been established that obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result in patients with coronavirus infection does not always mean recovery, and most patients have long-term dysfunction of various organs and neuropsychological activity. In medicine, the term “chronic COVID” has even been introduced. The Institute of Cell Therapy has developed a program for the treatment of chronic COVID and post-COVID rehabilitation, aimed at returning the patient to a full life as soon as possible.
4.The beginning of the clinical trial “Evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of bone marrow stem cells and placenta in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis”
In January 2020, the Institute of Cell Therapy together with the Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology of NAMSU and Kiev Municipal Clinical Hospital №6 launched a new clinical trial “Evaluation of the effectiveness of bone marrow and placenta stem cells in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis.” World-famous football player and coach of the national team of Ukraine Andriy Shevchenko is one of the first patients who experienced the effectiveness of cell therapy in joint disease. All biological products for the treatment of patients in a clinical trial are manufactured by Cryobank.
5.NFDU grant for the project “Study of the respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems state in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia after transplantation of cryopreserved allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells”
For many years, the Institute of Cell Therapy has been involved in numerous international and national research projects. In 2020, the Institute of Cell Therapy became a grant recipient of the competition “Science for Human Security and Society”, held by the National Research Foundation of Ukraine. The theme of the project is “Study of the state of the respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia after transplantation of cryopreserved allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells.” The project is implemented jointly with the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of NASU, Kyiv City Hospital №4 and the L.V. Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. The Project is headed by Dr. VA Shabliy, PhD, Senior Researcher, Deputy Director of the Institute of Cell Therapy Cryobank.
6.Co-implementation of the international research project “International network for translating research on perinatal derivatives into therapeutic approaches”
The Institute of Cell Therapy participated in the implementation of the international research project “International network for translating research on perinatal derivatives into therapeutic approaches” in accordance with the tasks of working group 4 “Clinical research”. The Institute of Cell Therapy in this project is represented by Dr. VA Shabliy, PhD, Senior Researcher, Deputy Director of Cryobank.
7.Active participation in international scientific conferences
An employee of the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy Kuchma MD took part in the conference “5th Kaunas / Lithuania International Hematology / Oncology Colloquium” and the webinar “Scientist’s publication strategy” from Clarivate AG. Scientific consultant of the Institute of Cell Therapy, Head of the Department of International Cooperation of the Association of Cryobanks, Dr. Nasadyuk CM, PhD, Associate Professor, participated in the work of the international research network “Navigating Knowledge Landscapes”. Nasadyuk CM also participated in the scientific symposium on anti-cytokine peptides “Boulder Peptide Symposium” and spoke at the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes 4th annual international conference “Life, Knowledge and Democracy during COVID-19”.
8.Cryobank became a member of the Cord Blood Association
In 2020, Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy became a member of the authoritative international association of accredited cord blood banks – Cord Blood Association. The Cord Blood Association is a non-profit international organization that brings together accredited cord blood banks, both public and family, as well as leading industry scientists and practitioners. The priority of the Cord Blood Association is to constantly improve the quality of cryopreserved umbilical cord blood products in the world, so only an accredited biobank whose quality of biological products meets high international standards can become a member of the Cord Blood Association. This is an important international achievement in the history of the Institute of Cell Therapy Cryobank.
9.Participation in the activities of international professional communities – ISCT, IPLASS, IFPA, ISSCR.
The associates of the Institute of Cell Therapy are members of the International Society for Cell Therapy (ISCT), the International Society for Placental Stem Cell Research (IPLASS), the International Federation of Placental Research Associations, and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Through membership in international professional communities, the Institute of Cell Therapy gains access to the latest advances in perinatal tissues biobanking (umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord, placenta) and regenerative medicine.
10.Participation in the 4th IAPMT & MedTourClub Summit
On December 5, 2020, the main event of the year in the field of medical tourism took place – the 4th Summit of the International Association of Medical Tourism Physicians and MedTourClub (4th Summit IAPMT & MedTourClub), in which the Institute of Cell Therapy took an active part. Maria Gazda, a physician, a certified specialist in nutrition, anti-aging medicine, and prevention, presented a report on the experience of the Institute of Cell Therapy in the field of clinical use of stem cells, unique developments of Cryobank, treatment and prevention programs of the Clinic. If necessary, the Institute of Cell Therapy provides its clients and patients with consultations from leading foreign experts in the field, as well as shares knowledge and achievements with the international medical community.
11.Publication of the professional journal “Cell and Organ Transplantology” and indexing in Scopus
Since 2013, with the financial support of the Institute of Cell Therapy, an exclusive for Ukraine scientific and practical journal “Cell and Organ Transplantology” has been published. The journal is intended for a wide range of physicians, scientists, medical and biology students who are interested or working in the field of cell and organ transplantation. The journal is included in the list of professional publications of Ukraine and is indexed in Scopus. The journal is also registered in the Pubmed database and is indexed in Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, NLM Catalog, CiteFactor, International Scientific Indexing and Open Academic Journals Index.
12.Participation in the Association of cryobanks of umbilical cord blood, other human tissues and cells
The Institute of Cell Therapy is a co-founder and full member of the Association of Cryobanks of Umbilical Cord Blood, Other Human Cells and Tissues. Established in 2013, the Association of Cryobanks takes an active part in the formation of a legal market for high-quality cryopreservation services for biomaterial in Ukraine on the basis of honest competition, harmonization of legal regulation of the industry. During 2020, the Institute of Cell Therapy provided constant support to the Association of Cryobanks in the implementation of educational activities, consulting, involving leading foreign experts.
13.Active educational and public activities
The Institute of Cell Therapy has always been actively involved in numerous educational projects aimed at raising awareness of future parents about the value of perinatal tissues (umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord, placenta) and the possibilities of their long-term storage, supported international initiatives such as “July is a cord blood awareness month” and “World Cord Blood Day”. Quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced most educational activities to be translated online, and the Institute of Cell Therapy conducted free webinars for pregnant women in 2020, covering hot button issues of nutrition, preparation for childbirth, newborn care etc.
The Institute of Cell Therapy is grateful to the patients of the Clinic and Cryobank customers, who have been with us during 2020 for their trust, as well as all partners for the fruitful cooperation! We will make every effort to become even better for you in 2021!