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NeoStem Acquires Stem Cell Technologies from UTEK Corporation

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UTEK Corporation and NeoStem, Inc. have announced that NeoStem has acquired Stem Cell Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of UTEK, in a stock for stock transaction.

Stem Cell Technologies owns a worldwide exclusive license to a technology developed by researchers at the University of Louisville to identify and isolate rare stem cells from adult human bone marrow, called VSELs (very small embryonic-like) stem cells.

VSELs have been shown to have several physical characteristics that are generally found in embryonic stem cells. They also have been shown to grow in the laboratory and multiply into clusters of cells that then can differentiate into specialized cells found in different types of tissue including cardiac, neural, endothelial, muscle, pancreatic and hematopoietic cells.

“I am enthusiastic about working with NeoStem, Inc. to further develop the potential of VSELs,” said Mariusz Z. Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., a co-inventor of the VSEL technology and head of the Stem Cell Biology Program at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

“We have both purified and identified at a single cell level an adult counterpart of embryonic stem cells that is present in adult bone marrow. We believe these cells are a real alternative to embryonic stem cells for obtaining a population of histocompatible, pluripotent stem cells for regenerative purposes.”

In 2006, Dr. Ratajczak was honored by his native Poland’s Foundation for Polish Science with a “Polish Nobel Prize”, for his VSEL discovery, which goes to researchers who have accomplished the most in their field.

“The potential exists for the isolated VSELs to differentiate into specified cells that could be given to a patient where they would interact within the specific organ in order to repair degenerated, damaged or diseased tissue, the three “D’s of aging.” NeoStem is enthusiastic about this technology and its potential to help expand our proprietary position in the adult stem cell collection and storage arena as well as the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine,” said Dr. Robin Smith, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer of NeoStem, Inc.