ABCB5 as a marker for highly potent mesenchymal stem cells

In 2003, scientists led by Prof. Dr. Markus Frank at the Boston Children’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, described a new and previously uncharacterized group of mesenchymal stem cells expressing ABCB5 in the human skin. These cells have unique immunomodulating properties that make them a unique candidate to treat inflammatory diseases.

the key mechanism of ABCB5

One of the leading causes of non-treatable conditions is local or systemic inflammation, hindering the regeneration ability in our body.

Administering ABCB5-positive stem cells to the patients leads to anti-inflammation by interacting with immune cells (e.g. macrophages, T-cells, B-cells), switching from a pro- inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory environment giving the body a chance to heal.

(A) Chronic wounds persist in the inflammatory phase through IL-1β- and TNF-α-mediated autocrine recruitment and activation of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages.

(B) ABCB5+ MSCs, by adaptive release of IL-1RA, break the vicious cycle of autocrine M1 macrophage activation, thus shifting the balance from M1 macrophage-dominated inflammation to M2 macrophage-dominated healing-promoting tissue environment characterized by decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-12 and IL-23, and increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.

ABCB5+ MSCs trigger switch from pro-inflammatory M1 to anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages

From local inflammation to cytokine storm: The Story

Based on scientific evidence, we at first focused on local inflammation in patients suffering from chronic wounds validating the mechanism of action.

Applying the gained knowledge from the clincal data in local administration and further research programs, we expanded our clinical focus on systemc inflammatory diseases. Together with world leading experts we developed a clinical reserach program focusing on patients with unmet medical need in a rare pediadric disease accompanied by systemic inflammation.

All the acquired insights of how our stem cells modulate inflammation motivated us to push our clinical program to the next level: a systemic life-threatening, inflammatory condition with a massive cytokine storm ultimately leading to death.


inflammatory processes

Systemic life-threatening

From bench to bedside: allogeneic off-the-shelf stem cell therapeutics

Based on research, we developed a unique patented manufacturing process isolating ABCB5-positive cells as an ultrapure high potent subpopulation of mesenchymal stem cells with defined quality and release criteria. That brings the product to the patient.

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