Founded by the creator of XPrize, with an ex-FDA commissioner and a former Apple CEO, John Sculley, on their board, biotech company Celularity was already set up for success — now they have $250m to supplement their efforts.
The company is using stem cells from placentas to help rebuild damaged tissues, treat conditions like leukemia, and “make 100 years old the new 60” — all without the risk to embryos.
“Explain stem cells like I’m 5”
Our bodies are made up of different types of cells, each with a specialized function (e.g., skin cells, blood cells, muscle cells, etc.).
Stem cells are unique because they can develop into more of the same kind of cell (i.e., skin cell making more skin cells), but they can also become a bunch of other types of cells.
And stem cells aren’t just found in embryos — adult humans have them too: fat, blood, and bone marrow stem cells can all be extracted via procedures like liposuction, blood draw, and bone drilling.
But, while adult stem cells can only be used to grow a few different types of cells, embryonic stem cells can turn into any type of cell in the human body. Unfortunately, these cells can’t be collected without harming the embryo…
Enter the placenta
Placentas (the thing that comes out after the baby is born) are chock-full of stem cells. According to Celularity, one birth alone can generate over 100k medical treatments.
Not only are they potentially more versatile than adult stem cells, they don’t harm the baby or mother. Sounds pretty plasimple to us…