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Aldagen and IMT Form Regenerative Medicine Alliance

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Aldagen, Inc. and Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) have announced that they have formed an alliance to co-develop and commercialize a version of IMT's Rare Cell Purification System, customized for clinical cell therapies. 

This system, called the ALDESORTER™, will be used with Aldagen's ALDESORT® product and is designed to isolate stem cell populations for the treatment of chronic heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, leukemias, genetic enzyme deficiencies and other diseases. 

The first ALDESORTER is scheduled for completion in early 2007, with clinical trials planned to begin in late 2007.

Aldagen's ALDESORT product is a set of proprietary reagents that can be used with currently available cell sorting systems to isolate a potent population of stem and progenitor cells from human bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood. 

The chemistry incorporated into the ALDESORT product allows the isolation of stem and progenitor cells based on the elevated expression of an intracellular enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).

Unlike currently available cell sorters that are large, complex research instruments, the ALDESORTER is designed to address the needs of clinical cell sorting including: ultra-high speed sorting, completely sealed fluidic path for disposability and sterility, compact size, and ease-of use. 

When completed, the ALDESORTER will be desk-top size and have the ability to sort therapeutic stem cell doses in one to three hours.

"With three clinical trials currently ongoing using ALDESORT, we have recognized the need for a rapid and efficient cell sorting approach to allow optimal treatments for patients," said Tom Amick, Chairman & CEO of Aldagen.

"IMT's cell purification technology is the most advanced in the world for clinical cell therapy applications and will broadly enable cellular treatments using our ALDESORT product."

IMT will be responsible for the design and manufacture of the ALDESORTER and the disposable MEMS sorting chips. 

Aldagen has strong expertise in the field of cellular therapy, and one of the top clinical development portfolios in the regenerative medicine field. 

Aldagen is responsible for the cell labeling chemistries and for conducting clinical trials with the ALDESORTER, as well as for marketing the ALDESORTER system.

John Foster, CEO of IMT, stated, "It has always been IMT's goal to enable cell therapies for treatment of some of the most insidious human maladies." 

"We are especially excited to be partnering with Aldagen, whose ALDESORT product is being used in clinical trials today."

"We expect that the combination of Aldagen's and IMT's efforts will produce cell therapies that will make a very real and positive difference in peoples lives."

Aldagen currently has three clinical studies on-going using stem and progenitor cell populations identified with its ALDESORT product.

These clinical studies are assessing the use of the populations in the treatment of ischemic heart failure, critical limb ischemia and pediatric cancer and genetic disorders.

In addition, Aldagen believes these cell populations could be used to treat neural conditions (like ischemic stroke) and orthopedic conditions.