GoodCell, a life sciences company, launched Personal Biobanking, a proactive, preventative healthcare service that allows members to store their own stem cells for potential future personalized therapy.
Thousands of cell and gene therapies are in development to treat diseases and conditions that may impact 1 in 2 U.S. adults from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to breast and lung cancer to major chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.[i] Based on the current clinical trial pipeline, the FDA expects to approve 10 to 20 new cell and gene therapies annually beginning in 2025.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute and GoodCell Cofounder David Scadden, MD, explains his “irrepressible optimism” about the future of personalized cellular therapeutics. “Blood stem cells have been used for stem cell transplants to save lives for decades. Now the moment has arrived when new technologies allow us to make stem cells from anyone and expand their uses to diseases well beyond the blood. We can envision making a fundamental difference for the lives of people who have otherwise intractable diseases.”
GoodCell is partnered with Quest Labs for a convenient member experience. When members receive their kit in the mail, they can schedule a blood draw at one of the 3,000+ Quest Labs nationwide. Samples are then sent to GoodCell labs for bioprocessing where the most valuable components of the blood are extracted and safely and securely stored in GoodCell’s state-of-the-art biorepository.
GoodCell’s laboratory and biorepository are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments/College of American Pathologists (CLIA/CAP) certified—the industry standard for laboratories such as those maintained by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and major pharmaceutical companies.
“Our belief is that Personal Biobanking will impact the way preventative medicine is defined in the future,” said Chris Garcia, GoodCell CEO. “Being able to store and use stem cells for diagnostic purposes is only the beginning. GoodCell will inform members about their inherited and acquired genetics as well as track genetic changes over time. This knowledge, combined with access to their own biomaterial for personalized cellular therapies, can prevent or change the trajectory of certain diseases that impact our members.”
Many current stem cell therapies rely on donor cells. Using your own biomaterial eliminates the need to test for a match, reducing the risk of rejection and potential need for immunosuppressants. Cell quality declines with time due to the aging process and environmental factors—making today the best time to bank your healthiest cells.
“As cellular therapies advance, GoodCell empowers individuals with the opportunity to preserve their personal biology and harness the power of their blood,” said Salvatore Viscomi, MD, GoodCell Chief Medical Officer. “GoodCell is pioneering the future of personalized medicine for its members.”
GoodCell extracts and stores peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). PBMCs are used to generate a cell type similar in properties to embryonic stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). IPSCs are essentially an unlimited resource that can be used to make any cell type in the human body that may be needed for therapeutic purposes. Researchers around the globe are optimistic about the potential of iPSCs to treat a wide variety of human diseases. Some clinical trials involving iPSCs have already started showing positive results in conditions such as macular degeneration, Parkinson’s, and heart disease.[ii]
There are therapies in development using iPSCs in a wide range of major chronic diseases and conditions including Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, cornea injury, critical limb ischemia, diabetes, inflammation, lung cancer, macular degeneration, male infertility, osteoarthritis, pancreatic cancer, Parkinson’s, severe bone fractures, and stroke.