Methods of expanding stem cells are well-known in the art. For example, #7,423,029 teaches the use of heterocyclic trialkyl ammonium-containing compounds for stimulation of bone marrow stem cells. #7,135,459 covers use of FGF homologues for expansion of neural and chondrocytic stem cells. # 7,442,394 covers a nutrient cocktail containing blueberries and other goodies for activation of stem cells of the hematopoietic system.
The current patent teaches methods of exanding stem cells through the ligation of the CD163 receptor. This molecule is a scavenger receptor and is usually found on macrophages.
The patent teaches the use of antibodies to CD163 and antibody fragments that are agonistic.
Claim 1 reads as follows "A method of stimulating the growth, proliferation, and/or differentiation of a stem cell that expresses CD163 comprising administering an effective amount of an antibody or fragment thereof that can activate CD163 on the stem cell to the cell or an animal in need thereof"
This patent could be very useful for accelerating hematopoietic recovery after bone marrow/cord blood transplantation, as well as generally increasing production of blood cells in periods of leukopenia/anemia.