Stem cell therapy for perinatal brain injuries

Despite the significant reduction in global neonatal mortality over the last 30 years, there are still numerous intractable perinatal diseases requiring novel therapies, including perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Stem cell therapy is expected to be a promising treatment option for such diseases, as it has several advantages, such as the ability to replace injured cells, regenerate on their own, and produce growth factors that induce therapeutic effects. Moreover, stem cells can migrate to where they are needed, even when administered intravenously, and respond to the situation and location.
We are developing novel stem cell-based therapies for various perinatal diseases, focusing on HIE and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Regarding HIE, we have conducted basic research on various types of stem cells, such as neural stem/progenitor cells, umbilical cord blood cells, and mesenchymal stem cells derived from various tissues. Among these stem cells, we have proceeded to a clinical trial with multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring cells.
Additionally, we are focusing on the treatment of neurological symptoms in the chronic phase, such as cerebral palsy, and are planning a clinical trial with stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED), which have demonstrated treatment effects in the chronic phase after HIE by animal studies.
In this presentation, I will talk about basic, translational, and clinical studies on HIE and the potential of stem cell therapy as a novel treatment for perinatal brain injuries.