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WSCS 2021 | Challenges in developing cord blood- and cord tissue-based therapies

Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, Duke University, Durham, NC, discusses ongoing issues related to the development of cord blood- or cord tissue-based cell therapies. Regulatory approval and commercialization remain a challenge for autologous cord blood-based therapies due to a lack of standardization in manufacturing techniques amongst family cord blood banks. The use of allogeneic cord blood could, however, enhance patient access to therapies and is more compliant with manufacturing regulations. In addition, the high costs associated with product development and conducting clinical trials, as well as difficulties in obtaining funding, are major challenges facing this area. Dr Kurtzberg also highlights challenges associated with studying products in children, where typical pediatric development can be misconstrued as therapeutic effect. This interview took place at the 2021 World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS).