NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Angiocrine Bioscience, Inc. announced today that it has licensed the rights to a new technology developed by a team of researchers at the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College. The team was led by Dr. Shahin Rafii, director of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute, professor of medicine, genetic medicine and reproductive medicine, and a founder of Angiocrine Bioscience. This scientific advance, reported in the July 2 issue of Nature, could potentially lead to therapies for patients with blood disorders from their own cells.
This technology provides a means of converting a patient’s own vascular cells, known as endothelial cells, directly into blood stem cells. The endothelial cells are acquired from a biopsied piece of skin and are then “educated” on a bed of VeraVecTM cells (proprietary to Angiocrine Bioscience) to form multipotent blood cells that are capable of producing red cells that carry oxygen, white cells that provide immunity, and platelets to prevent bleeding. This approach could potentially provide an abundant and safe source of new blood stem cells capable of treating a variety of diseases without the risk of graft versus host disease, a serious, life-threatening complication often associated with stem cell transplants derived from a donor.
"We hope that our method will offer the first safe technology to treat a wide spectrum of serious disorders. The VeraVecTM cells form a nurturing niche for the survival and growth of the reprogrammed blood cells, similar to what happens developmentally during blood production. A particularly important aspect of this study was that the reprogrammed cells engrafted in the bone marrow when implanted into rodents and morphed into the various types of blood cells,” said Dr. Rafii.
“This technology nicely complements our efforts in applying our VeraVecTM platform to the expansion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, another approach toward making stem cell transplant safer and more broadly available to patients in need, ” added Geoff Davis, Angiocrine’s CEO.
About Angioicrine Bioscience, Inc.
Angiocrine Bioscience is a privately held biotech company focused on applying vascular biology to new therapeutic applications. Angiocrine’s VeraVecTM technology platform is based on endothelial cells that have been genetically modified such that they can be rapidly and durably expanded in culture. Because these cells secrete and display factors essential for stem cell growth and proliferation, they can be used to support cell-based therapies, stem cell transplant, and regenerative medicine applications. VeraVecTM products are currently marketed for research-use only purposes to academic laboratories, medical research institutes, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.