IMPACT (IMproved Pulmonary repair with Advanced Cell Therapy) for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
When people become critically ill, such as during severe infection, their lungs often fail – this is termed "Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome" (ARDS). ARDS is common, and often fatal. There is no drug therapy for ARDS and new therapies are urgently required. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) from bone marrow offer significant hope for ARDS, and early research findings are promising. An alternative source of these cells is the tissue around the blood vessels of the umbilical cord – these umbilical cord MSCs offer potential advantages over bone marrow MSCs, including ease of isolation and enhanced therapeutic effect. Our partner organization, Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics, has developed a method for extraction of these cells. This project aims to assess the efficacy of these cells in laboratory and animal models that mimic some of the features of ARDS. In addition, this project aims to optimize the therapeutic effect of these cells by activating them to enhance their reparative potential.