OLDSMAR, Fla., March 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A patent issued to Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. and the University of South Florida may facilitate increased use of cord blood stem cells in medical therapies, according to Linda Kelley, Ph.D., chief scientific officer with Cryo-Cell International (OTCQB:CCEL). Cryo-Cell is a major investor in Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, a Tampa, Fla.-based research firm with rights to 20 patents related to their cellular therapy technology. A human umbilical cord is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells that can differentiate and give rise to all blood cell types. The patent was awarded for a method of retrieval, incubation and transplantation of cells derived from umbilical cord blood, which can be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's as well as spinal cord and brain injuries. The patented method has the potential to treat heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases as well. "This patent means that cord blood stem cells can now be used to treat neurological conditions for which there are few alternatives. Too often these valuable cells are disposed of as medical waste," Dr. Kelley explained. "Umbilical cord blood stem cells provide an advantage over stem cells derived from bone marrow because they are easier to obtain," said Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols, Saneron president and COO. "A single cord blood sample provides enough hematopoietic stem cells to provide short and long-term engraftment with a low incidence of graft-versus-host disease," said Dr. Alison E. Willing, professor, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida and an inventor on the patent. " "Our partnership with Saneron CCEL and the firm's many talented researchers sets Cryo-Cell apart from most stem cell banks which focus on storage. We believe that, through our interest in Saneron, Cryo-Cell holds more patents related to cord blood banking than any other cord blood bank. We are on the forefront of regenerative medicine," said David Portnoy, Cryo-Cell chairman and co-CEO.