International Stem Cell Corporation Signs Agreement with BioTime and Embryome Sciences
News Jun 26, 2008
International Stem Cell Corporation has signed a manufacturing and distribution agreement with BioTime, Inc. and BioTime’s wholly owned subsidiary Embryome Sciences, Inc., to jointly produce and distribute hundreds of new standardized human and animal stem cell lines, along with corresponding data and reagents.
The mutual goal is to provide the “picks and shovels” for scientists mining the stem cell field for therapeutics in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical drug discovery.
These unique stem cell lines (called progenitor cell lines) possess the potential to expand and become specific types of tissues and cells such as heart, liver, skeletal muscle, bone, retinal, nerve, pancreas and others – all necessary to study various human diseases where regenerative medicine shows great promise.
“There is a large opportunity in providing high-quality progenitor cell lines and other basic research tools for use in stem cell research and drug discovery, especially since $3 billion in research funds for California’s Proposition 71 are now becoming available. International Stem Cell’s and BioTime’s combined strengths and technologies, and our ability to move quickly put us in an excellent position in this emerging market,” said Jeffrey Janus, President of International Stem Cell and CEO of Lifeline.
“We are fortunate to work with Dr. Michael West, CEO of BioTime and Embryome Sciences. Dr. West has established the field of 'embryomics' which is the science of characterizing all of the complex cell types that can be derived from human embryonic stem (hES) cells. Dr. West’s expertise, along with International Stem Cell’s experience in manufacturing standardized human cells and reagents is a spectacular opportunity to become a leading provider of the next generation of tools for stem cell research,” Janus added.
According to Dr. West, “While many have focused on the therapeutic opportunities of hES cells, and the generous $3 billion of funding provided by the State of California to fund this research, we believe that the greatest rate of return on investment may be in commercializing research products. We intend to win the race to profitability in this important field of medicine.”
Under the collaborative production and manufacturing agreement, the parties intend to manufacture Espy™ cell lines (derivatives of hES cells that send beacons of light in response to the activation of particular genes), as well as a host of supplies scientists will utilize in the field of stem cell research.
The progenitor cell lines will be produced and distributed in joint efforts utilizing Embryome Sciences’ proprietary “Embryomics™” technology, International Stem Cell’s proprietary parthenogenetic stem cell lines derived from unfertilized human eggs and technology and approved hES cell lines licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
Data on these lines will be presented on Embryome Sciences’ future Embryome.com online database. International Stem Cell will contribute its manufacturing and quality control expertise backed by a staff with over 150 years of experience in the field.
Embryome Sciences also plans to develop and market other products for use by stem cell researchers including growth and differentiation factors that can permit researches to manufacture specific cell types from embryonic stem cells, and purification tools useful to researchers in quality control of products for regenerative medicine.
In addition to its own products, Embryome Sciences plans to market with Lifeline proprietary cell growth media optimized for the growth of human embryonic progenitor cells, as a product line called ESpan™.