CORRECTING and REPLACING San Diego Company Formed around Breakthrough in Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Embryonic Stem Cells Generated Without Use Of Embryos Or Retroviral Vectors To Add Exogenous DNA To Host Cells Cascade LifeSciences Incorporated

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

“Dr. Mitalipov’s new technology provides a solid basis for the development of human SCNT-ESC lines that may ultimately save thousands of human lives.”

The corrected release reads:


Embryonic Stem Cells Generated Without Use Of Embryos Or Retroviral Vectors To Add Exogenous DNA To Host Cells

Cascade LifeSciences Incorporated today announced that its collaborator, Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have made a major breakthrough in the developing of primate embryonic stem cell lines. The breakthrough may advance health care research and lead to the generation of transplantable stem cell products to combat numerous human diseases. As published in the journal Nature on November 22, 2007, Dr. Mitalipov and his team at OHSUs Oregon National Primate Research Center are the first to successfully create monkey embryonic stem cells using a technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). For more detail see:

Cascade LifeSciences is the exclusive worldwide licensee of Dr. Mitalipovs technology related to SCNT reprogramming as well as a second method of generating embryonic stem cells using an approach known as parthenogenesis. Notably, both approaches are capable of generating pluripotent embryonic stem cells without the use or need for fertilized embryos as a starting material. Moreover, both of Dr. Mitalipovs approaches have the additional attribute of producing embryonic stem cells genetically matched to the patient, thus, avoiding immune rejection issues in the human therapeutic setting. Dr. Mitalipov and Cascade LifeSciences are collaborating on further refinement and development of this technology.

Dr. Donald Wolf, Ph.D. a retired OHSU primate center scientist who helped author the Nature paper, and currently chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cascade LifeSciences, commented Dr. Mitalipovs new technology provides a solid basis for the development of human SCNT-ESC lines that may ultimately save thousands of human lives.

Howard Birndorf, President and Founder of Cascade LifeSciences, commented, We are pleased to be associated with Dr. Mitalipov, his team at OHSU and, in particular, this breakthrough in primate stem cell creation. We are working with Dr. Mitalipov to refine his primate work, begin the next phase in producing human embryonic stem cells via SCNT, and expand our proprietary position in this powerful area of regenerative medicine.

OHSU is proud of Dr. Mitalipovs success. More importantly we are encouraged by the hope it holds for patients suffering from several diseases that may be treated through stem cell therapies, said Arundeep S. Pradhan, Director of OHSUs Office of Technology & Research Collaboration. We are pleased to partner with Cascade LifeSciences in efforts to further advance these findings and further move these promising developments from lab bench to bedside.

Ken Woolcott, Chief Business Officer of Cascade LifeSciences, commented, Dr. Mitalipovs work represents a scientific foundation from which we will pursue numerous commercial opportunities including research reagents/kits, drug discovery models/systems and, ultimately, human cell-based therapeutic products. While stem cell research is moving forward rapidly, we believe that the OHSU advances offer key long-term technical/commercial differentiators. Not only do we no longer need fertilized embryos as a starting material, the technology appears to address the issue of transplant rejection in the therapeutic setting and, moreover, does not require the use of retroviral transfection of additional DNA, such as transgenes, oncogenes, etc., to create pluripotent stem cells.


A major challenge in cell-based regenerative therapy is a limited supply of immunologically matched cells for transplantation. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent a potential source of transplantable cells and it is possible to generate patient-specific ESCs that should be immunologically compatible using an approach called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). In this technique nuclear material from the patients somatic cell is transferred into an enucleated donor oocyte. The oocyte is chemically activated and development begins. While this technology has been established in other mammals, Dr. Mitalipov and his scientific team are the first to successfully perform SCNT in a primate. This accomplishment is based on a thorough investigation of the molecular mechanisms regulating nuclear remodeling following SCNT in primates. By isolation and culture of the Inner Cell Mass (ICM) from blastocysts, a panel of SCNT-ESC lines were established that are pluripotent and can be differentiated into tissue-specific multipotent stem cells or potentially into any of the 206 mature cell types in the body. Dr. Mitalipovs work is a major breakthrough in stem cell science.

About Cascade LifeSciences Incorporated

Cascade LifeSciences is a private San Diego-based company with a platform of stem cell related technologies that are being advanced to serve the research community and the commercial development of stem cell-based therapeutics. The founding team of Howard Birndorf, William Respess and Ken Woolcott have been involved in numerous lifescience startups in the San Diego area including Hybritech, IDEC, Gen-Probe, Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Nanogen, Inc.


Cascade LifeSciences Inc.
Kenneth J. Woolcott
Chief Business Officer

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