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In Waltham’s growing life sciences cluster, a six-year-old startup called GoodCell is embarking on an ambitious new mission: personal biobanking.
The idea behind the program is to enable patients to store vaults of their own cells should they need them for future treatments. In order to have cells removed from the body to undergo any stem cell treatment, patients have to take drugs to suppress their immune systems, putting them at high risk of other diseases. GoodCell’s process allows patients to do this when they are still healthy. But chief medical officer Salvatore Viscomi also believes having a personal biobank on hand will be useful for more forward-looking applications as well. Cells stored in GoodCell’s vaults could be used for new cell therapies, should they be invented and approved. He’s also looking to the future for regenerative medicine applications, like generating functional organs, as well as testing a patient’s cells for toxicity and effectiveness — “the future of personalized and precision medicine,” Viscomi said.
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