The Company has created a wholly-owned subsidiary, Vantus, Inc., a veterinary stem cell laboratory services company. The Company is in the process of completing a research collaboration with the Center for Equine Health and Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine Group at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
Under the collaboration, the Company's MarrowXpress™ System and BioArchive® System will be used for the processing and cryogenic storage of equine stem cells from cell rich sources, including fetal tissue and fluids during foaling, and bone marrow from yearlings and adults.
The stem cells will be used in therapeutic treatment of orthopedic injuries in the performance equine market including Thoroughbreds, American Quarter Horses, and Arabians. The Company is currently refining collection and processing methodologies at large breeder farms in California, and expects to be in operation commencing with the 2009 foaling season, which begins in January of next year.
"The creation of Vantus, Inc. is a major milestone in our regenerative medicine diversification strategy that we began implementing several months ago. This program leverages the expertise and world renowned reputation of the UC Davis organization in animal research and our industry leading stem cell processing and storage technologies," noted Dr. William Osgood, Chief Executive Officer of ThermoGenesis.
"We have the potential to create a new paradigm for the treatment of injured performance horses using our unique approach of capturing stem cells when the horse is born up through the first year of life. This represents a potentially sizeable market opportunity for the Company in which we believe we can achieve a meaningful competitive advantage quickly. Equine stem cells are being used successfully to treat a number of injuries today, with the potential for significant and rapid growth given the early clinical efficacy of these treatments and relatively low regulatory hurdles in the veterinary market," he added.