Allogeneic stem cell transplantation with omidubicel in sickle cell disease.

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Many patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) do not have HLA-matched related donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Unrelated cord blood (UCB) is an alternative graft option but is historically associated with high graft failure rates, with inadequate cell dose a major limitation. Omidubicel is a nicotinamide-based, ex vivo-expanded UCB product associated with rapid engraftment in adults with hematologic malignancies. We hypothesized that increasing the UCB cell dose with this strategy would lead to improved engraftment in pediatric patients undergoing myeloablative HSCT for SCD. We report the outcomes of a phase 1/2 study in 13 patients with severe SCD who received omidubicel in combination with an unmanipulated UCB graft and 3 who received a single omidubicel graft. Grafts were minimally matched with patients at 4 of 6 HLA alleles. Median age at transplant was 13 years. A median CD34+ expansion of ∼80-fold was observed in omidubicel and led to rapid neutrophil engraftment (median, 7 days). Long-term engraftment was derived from the unmanipulated graft in most of the double cord blood recipients. Two of the 3 single omidubicel recipients also had sustained engraftment. Incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was high, but resolved in all surviving patients. Event-free survival in the double cord group was 85% (median follow-up 4 years). All 3 patients in the single cord group were alive at 1 year after transplantation. Ex vivo expansion of UCB with omidubicel supports engraftment in patients with SCD. This approach to decreasing the incidence of GVHD should be optimized for general use in patients with SCD. This study was registered at as #NCT01590628.





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Parikh, Suhag, Joel A Brochstein, Einat Galamidi, Aurélie Schwarzbach and Joanne Kurtzberg (2021). Allogeneic stem cell transplantation with omidubicel in sickle cell disease. Blood advances, 5(3). pp. 843–852. 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003248 Retrieved from

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