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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

‘The Blood of the Future Could be Made in a Lab’ – Dr Cédric Ghevaert interviewed by the Wall Street Journal

In their latest The Future of Everything podcast, the Wall Street Journal explore the possibility of making blood in the lab and feature an interview with Cambridge Stem Cell Institute PI Dr Cédric Ghevaert.

Research into making blood in the lab for use in the clinic is an area the Ghevaert group have been building up expertise over the past decade. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has brought greater awareness to the possibilities offered by producing blood in the lab.  As the Wall Street journal’s article and podcast highlight, during the peak of the pandemic the number of blood donations was greatly reduced and this reduction has led to an increased understanding of the need to look for alternatives to donations to maintain blood supplies.

The group have developed a particular expertise in the production of platelets and red cells from human pluripotent stem cells. The team are using and developing methodologies that can produce clinical grade products within the constraints of affordable manufacturing processes. Platelets are the smallest cell in the body and are responsible for key functions such as blood clotting and red cells are essential for carrying oxygen around the body.

In the interview, Cédric talks about the group’s research and the planned clinical trial RESTORE, which is currently in development. The trial will be the first-in-human clinical trial of red blood cells grown in the laboratory from adult donor blood stem cells and aims to recruit its first patient towards the end of Spring 2021.

You can out more about the Ghevaert group’s research here.