HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eleventh paragraph, last sentence of release dated March 3, 2015 should read: These trials can take years to complete, and Celltex has already begun that process in cooperation with highly-qualified researchers and medical and scientific institutions (removal of listed institution names).
The corrected release reads:
TEXAS WOMAN FINDS ANSWER FOR MS IN HER OWN STEM CELLS
- MS patient turned down for four clinical trials sees remarkable improvement after stem cell therapy -
As Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month kicks off this week, one Texas woman is sharing her remarkable story after receiving stem cell therapy through a proprietary technology developed by Houston-based Celltex Therapeutics Corporation to offer hope to the 2.3 million people who are affected by the disease worldwide.
In 2001, Debbie Bertrand started feeling numbness in her hands and feet. She experienced difficulty walking, telling her husband, Larry, that her legs felt as if they were made of iron. After experiencing a number of troubling symptoms, the Bertrands visited a physician, and Debbie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, leaving the couple, their family and friends in shock.
“Eventually I couldn’t walk anymore. I was dragging my feet and, with time, was bound to a wheelchair. I also began to lose the use of my left hand,” says Bertrand.
Unwilling to accept her fate, Debbie began to research all of her treatment options and even looked into participating in four different stem cell clinical trials that were advertised on television. Unfortunately, she was denied each time either due to her age or because the trial was closed. “They offered to share results of the trial in 10 years. But I didn’t have 10 years,” says Debbie.
“It was a very helpless feeling,” says her husband, Larry, an associate pastor at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston. “It was difficult to watch my wife lose her independence to this disease, but we were thankful that our church community rallied around us – that was encouraging.”
One Sunday after church service, a fellow member approached the Bertrands and encouraged them to visit with his physician, Dr. Stanley Jones, and prompted them to research adult stem cell banking and Celltex Therapeutics Corporation.
Celltex, a Houston-based biotechnology company, is initiating breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, specifically in the autologous (one’s own) stem cell field, to effectively improve the quality of life for those suffering from injuries or vascular, autoimmune and degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. Celltex uses proprietary technology to separate, culture and store hundreds of millions of an individual’s own adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for use in regenerative therapy.
The process for obtaining MSCs begins with a small extraction of an individual's abdominal fat. From a thumb-size sample, the individual's MSCs are isolated, cultured and stored cryogenically for future use. Celltex's stem cell processing and banking methods ensure the genetic integrity and uniformity of an individual's cells, in quantities never before possible, then used for therapeutic applications. An individual can use his or her banked stem cells for regenerative therapy through infusions or injections performed by a licensed physician. The fat extraction process happens only once, and Celltex will maintain a master bank of the individual’s stem cells should he or she need them in the future.
After having her MSCs extracted and banked by Celltex, Debbie scheduled an adult stem cell infusion in October 2011 and a second in 2012. Very shortly after receiving millions of her own stem cells, Debbie noticed her energy and strength increased significantly. Nine months after her first treatment, she reports that her physician was both pleased and amazed with her improvements.
“He told us, ‘She is getting better and she’s not supposed to.’ His parting words to us were, ‘You’re getting better and I had nothing to do with it,’” says Debbie. What she found most exciting was that she was no longer wheelchair-bound. “Now I can walk with a walker and even type with both hands on a keyboard. Stem cell therapy didn’t cure my MS, but it improved my quality of life,” she states.
As it stands today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the position that an individual's own stem cells are considered a drug if they have been expanded in large quantities (which Celltex’ proprietary technology makes possible); therefore, an individual may not receive his or her own MSCs in the United States until clinical trials have been conducted. These trials can take years to complete, and Celltex has already begun that process in cooperation with highly-qualified researchers and medical and scientific institutions.
“Following the conclusion of successful clinical trials, we will seek approval from the FDA to provide stem cells for use by physicians in the United States. In the meantime, to meet the immediate needs of people like Debbie, we took steps to comply with the regulations established by the FDA and COFEPRIS, the equivalent of the FDA in Mexico, for exporting and importing MSCs,” says Eller. “Celltex works with established, certified hospitals in Mexico where highly-qualified, independently-licensed physicians make it possible for Celltex’s clients to receive their own cells for therapeutic purposes.”
Debbie and her family will celebrate her birthday on March 3, which also happens to take place during National MS Awareness Week, kicking off an entire month dedicated to increasing awareness of MS and the people affected by it. The Bertrand family continues to champion adult stem cell banking and therapy in hopes to see the FDA provide approval so that hundreds of thousands of Americans will have a new option in improving their quality of life.
“I am very happy with the results I have seen – not only do I have my doctor’s blessing, I have never experienced any negative side effects. I still take one oral drug for MS, but I haven’t had daily injections for MS in four years. I hope to see this process help others in my situation, and I am thankful to Celltex for bringing this technology to the United States,” she says. Debbie will receive her third round of treatment this May at Hospital Galenia in Cancun, Mexico.
About Celltex Therapeutics Corporation
Celltex is a Houston-based biotechnology company founded in 2011 by David Eller and internationally-recognized spine surgeon Dr. Stanley Jones to initiate breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, specifically in the autologous (one’s own) stem cell field, to effectively improve the quality of life for those suffering from injuries or vascular, autoimmune and degenerative diseases. Celltex is leading the United States into the future of regenerative medicine with its proprietary technology that precisely separates, multiplies and stores individuals’ own adult, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for use in stem cell therapy. Stem cells are taken directly from an individual’s fat in a simple procedure performed by a licensed U.S. physician. The cells are then sent to a Celltex laboratory where they are processed, multiplied to therapeutic levels (hundreds of millions) and banked. When the patient is in need of their own stem cells, Celltex releases the cells to independently-licensed physicians in approved facilities in Cancun and Guadalajara, Mexico who administer the safe and effective stem cell therapy in a state-of-the-art facility. Celltex is committed to expanding the use of adult stem cell therapy for all and is currently working with leading American academic institutions on several clinical trials that will help secure the future of regenerative medicine here in the United States. For more information about Celltex Therapeutics Corporation, please visit www.celltexbank.com.