Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China –- March 2, 2006 — Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd has announced the successful treatment with umbilical cord stem cells of the youngest ever stroke patient to undergo such a procedure. The announcement was made following the uneventful return home of the patient to her native country, Hungary, and several months of follow-up verification of the positive result.
Starting from October 28th, Beike provided umbilical cord stem cells to the Nanshan People’s Hospital here for the treatment of a four month old Hungarian baby girl named Timea Grescó, who had suffered a stroke when she was delivered three months prematurely. Umbilical cord stem cells were delivered intravenously over a two-month time period. Due to national regulations, the baby could not receive such treatment in her own country so her mother, Judit Godó, traveled to Shenzhen, China with her husband and daughter.
Treatments for leukemia and other diseases with stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been performed for years. However, the treatment of stroke patients and those with other neurological diseases with stem cells from human umbilical cords has become increasingly popular only within the last three years. Today, treatments for neurological diseases using umbilical cord blood is being taken forward by countries outside the United States, including China, as FDA approval takes longer.
Timea was born on July 16th, 2005 and immediately suffered a stroke – with bleeding on the left side of her brain and an enlargement of her ventrical on the right – causing significant brain damage. She was able to move all of her limbs, but the left limbs had significantly less strength than the right. The doctors, however, predicted that when she got older, she would have both physical impairment as well as some mental impairment. When she finished her treatment, all her limbs had gained strength with the left limbs having nearly the same strength as the right.
“At first we were doubtful about Timea getting stem cell treatments in China. Over time, our doubt turned into curiosity,” said one of the physicians treating Timea in Hungary. “It is too early to tell what the end result will be but were quite surprised to see how active the baby was upon her return from China. This is not common for babies with such severe brain damage.”
Mrs. Godó said, “In my heart, I knew Timea was getting improvement as soon as she stopped crying after the first injection, but it was reassuring to such a positive reaction from the medical staff when I returned home.”
“When we started the treatment, Timea was crying all the time, never smiled and would not acknowledge you if you smiled or waved at her. After the treatment, she stopped crying, has started smiling a lot, can smile back to you even when looking at you through a mirror, and has a healthy appetite. She is stronger in all of her hands and legs and her affected arm and leg have become almost as strong as her healthy ones.” said Ms. Godó.
Dr. Sean Hu, the chairman of the Beike Biotech Company Limited said, “We were all very happy to see the improvement. While we know in theory that the younger you are when you receive stem cell treatments, the more effective they may possibly be, we were excited to see such positive results so quickly. This is the youngest patient we have treated for stem cells and while we can’t say positively, as far as we know, this is the youngest patient anywhere in the world to be treated for a stroke with umbilical stem cells. We look forward to having Timea back for another treatment before she turns one.”