Biovault Technical Ltd and UCL
For nearly 30 years, umbilical cord blood (UCB) has routinely been used for stem cell therapies as an alternative to bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) transplants. This is in part due to the quality of the haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) found within UCB, as well as the ease of collection and less need for stringent tissue typing among others. HSCs are the precursor to all types of blood cells, and are used to reconstruct the immune system, for example after chemo- and radio-therapy in the treatment of blood based cancers. However, UCB yields fewer HSCs than bone marrow and peripheral blood transplants.
Shaun’s project will look to increase the yield of HSCs from UCB by developing a new scalable manufacturing process. This will mean transplants using UCB will be more effective at restoring the immune system and will make UCB transplants more accessible to older patients than currently possible. The project will ultimately aim to provide both a personalised and off-the-shelf, clinically-relevant HSC product.
"For nearly 30 years, umbilical cord blood has routinely been used for stem cell therapies as an alternative to bone marrow"
Shaun has a BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Southampton and an MSc in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine with the University of Bristol. He has worked at Biovault Technical Ltd for the past four years, and is currently a Stem Cell Scientist responsible for undertaking initial process development and implementation. Shaun also works closely with the company’s NHS partner for the processing, storage and analysis of their stem cell transplants.