LifeCell, the Chennai based cord blood banking major, is all set to launch Plureon Placental stem cells from placental tissues as a new source for stem cells in India for the first time.

LifeCell will be launching this in India in collaboration with Cryo-Cell International Inc. The Cryo-Cell has launched the Plureon Service three months before in the US and LifeCell expects to introduce the service in India by March 2007, informed S Abhayakumar, vice chairman, LifeCell to Pharmabiz.

Plureon cells, a novel type of placental stem cells, is usually discarded as medical waste and has recently been discovered to be a rich source of unique, pluripotent stem cells under the research of Cryo-Cell. These placental stem cells are highly proliferate and have the ability to easily become bone, nerve, muscle, fat, pancreatic, and liver cells. The stem cells from this type is expected to be useful in future treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease, according to the company sources.

Plureon cells, a specific type of stem cells from placental tissues, have already been found successful in animal trials to cure diabetes. The pancreatic cells formed by Plureon cells have produced functional insulin-secreting tissue in animal models, as the result of the trials.

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