ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ReCyte Therapeutics, a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company with a focus on pluripotent stem cell technology, today announced the publication of a scientific paper titled, “A novel lineage restricted, pericyte-like cell line isolated from human embryonic stem cells,” by Midori Greenwood-Goodwin, Jiwei Yang, Mohammad Hassanipour, and David Larocca. The article was released in the peer-reviewed online publication in Scientific Reports. The online version of the article can be found at www.nature.com/articles/srep24403.
In the article, researchers at ReCyte Therapeutics demonstrate the successful isolation of a new type of human blood vessel support cell that is involved in the formation and stabilization of blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Unlike typical angiogenic support cells which are multi-talented and can turn into other types of tissues such as bone, these precursor cells, termed PC-M cells, are highly specialized to support and strengthen blood vessels.
“When you want a specific job done, its best to call a specialist for treatment,” said Dr. David Larocca, Vice President of Research and Development. “That’s why we believe these novel pericytes (PCs) may be an ideal source of cells for promoting new blood flow in patients suffering from ischemic vascular disease (IVD) where clogged arteries have blocked blood flow to limbs or the heart.”
Left unchecked, IVD often leads to amputation or heart failure for patients that have failed, or are not candidates for surgical interventions. Thus, there is a critical unmet medical need for new angiogenic therapies. Importantly, PC-M cells are highly stable and have a high capacity to replicate under standard laboratory conditions. They therefore can be manufactured on an industrial scale needed to treat a large patient population. At ReCyte, we are currently investigating the use of PC-M cells for treating critical limb ischemia, a late stage of IVD that afflicts diabetics and the elderly.
We have also developed a PC-M cell based co-culture assay kit called VascuNet™ (sold by Ascendance Biotechnology, Inc.) that’s designed to be used to screen for drugs that affect human blood vessel growth and stability. This novel assay mimics the body’s own angiogenic mechanisms for growing blood vessels which involves both supporting pericytes, and the endothelial cells that line the vessel walls. This biomimetic VascuNet™ assay can be used to discover new anti-angiogenic cancer drugs that kill tumors by cutting off or destabilizing their blood supply. It can also be used to screen for pro-angiogenic drugs that increase blood flow for treating ischemia.
The paper, based off of BioTime/ReCyte’s extensive research and discoveries involving iPS cells, if developed, could potentially bring value to the pharmaceutical industry interested in developing cardiovascular and cancer therapies. This development ties into BioTime’s broader strategy to allow its non-core therapeutic assets to mature into successful regenerative cell therapies, for a wide variety of degenerative diseases, to help address the critical unmet medical needs of patients worldwide.
BioTime, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies developed from what we believe to be the world’s premier collection of pluripotent stem cell assets. The foundation of our core therapeutic technology platform is pluripotent stem cells that are capable of becoming any of the cell types in the human body. Pluripotent stem cells have potential application in many areas of medicine with large unmet patient needs, including various age-related degenerative diseases and degenerative conditions for which there presently are no cures. Unlike pharmaceuticals that require a molecular target, therapeutic strategies based on the use of pluripotent stem cells are generally aimed at regenerating or replacing affected cells and tissues, and therefore may have broader applicability than pharmaceutical products.
In order to efficiently advance product candidates through the clinical trial process, we have historically created operating subsidiaries for each program and product line. This approach has fostered efficient use of resources and reduced shareholder dilution as compared to strategies commonly deployed by the biotechnology industry, as the various programs and product lines have advanced through basic research and animal studies. We and our subsidiaries now have four therapeutic product candidates in human clinical trials, each of which addresses a large market opportunity. In addition to the development of therapeutics, BioTime’s research and other activities have resulted, over time, in the creation of other subsidiaries that address other non-therapeutic market opportunities such as cancer diagnostics, drug development and stem cell research products, and mobile health software applications.
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