Research has shown that extracellular vesicles play a critical role in intercellular communication, and can act locally and distally within the body. They are able to induce changes in cells by fusing with a target cell and introducing the molecules transported on and/or in the extracellular vesicle to the target cell. They are believed to play a critical role in maintaining health and healing.
Extracellular Vesicle Therapy vs. Stem Cell Therapy
Aegle Therapeutics’ scientists have been conducting research using stem cells and stem cell therapy for over 20 years. As a result, they (and others) discovered that extracellular vesicles secreted by adult human stem cells function as the critical mediators by which cells promote healing. Like stem cells, extracellular vesicles stimulate and enhance neuronal regeneration, cellular proliferation, cellular migration, and functional regeneration and organization of complex tissue structures. However, extracellular vesicles are not cells. The use of extracellular vesicles eliminates issues and risks associated with stem cell therapy including: 1.) the high cost of preparation; 2.) cellular delivery, including development of unwanted cell types; 3.) culture-induced senescence; 4.) loss of functional properties; 5.) genetic instability, and/or 6.) eventual malignant formation.
Additionally, extracellular vesicles are stable and do not require specialized handling. They can be scaled for volume production at a low cost and can be stored for extensive periods of time.
Human fibrocyte-derived exosomes accelerate wound healing in genetically diabetic mice. Geiger A, Walker A, Nissen E. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Nov 13;467(2):303-9.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes Induce Proliferation and Migration of Normal and Chronic Wound Fibroblasts, and Enhance Angiogenesis In Vitro. Shabbir A, Cox A, Rodriguez-Menocal L, Salgado M, Van Badiavas E. Stem Cells Dev. 2015 Jul 15;24(14):1635-47.
Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell exosomes enhance angiogenesis through the Wnt4/β-catenin pathway. Zhang B, Wu X, Zhang X, Sun Y, Yan Y, Shi H, Zhu Y, Wu L, Pan Z, Zhu W, Qian H, Xu W. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 May;4(5):513-22.
Exosomes released from human induced pluripotent stem cells-derived MSCs facilitate cutaneous wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and angiogenesis. Zhang J, Guan J, Niu X, Hu G, Guo S, Li Q, Xie Z, Zhang C, Wang Y. J Transl Med. 2015 Feb 1;13:49.