U.S. stem cell companies: a new roundup

From Investor’s Business Daily: Big pharmaceutical firms and major biotechs are holding back as well, William Caldwell CEO of Advanced Cell Technology says. “While all of them have stem cell development labs someplace in the bowels of their organizations, they are not putting capital into the sector.” These companies are nervous about the political and ethical climate associated with the science, he says. The same holds true for venture capital firms. “VCs will take any risks — except political,” Caldwell said. Despite the political fallout, there’s plenty of research going on. Plenty of companies are trying to turn the stem cell therapy business into a success.
StemCells, which develops therapeutics to treat damaged or deteriorating organ systems, has followed a path away from embryonic stem cells in developing a treatment for Batten’s disease, a rare genetic disorder in children that is always fatal. Using nonembryonic human stem cells, the firm is about to launch a phase one trial on six children.
aastromTargeting Batten’s might seem odd, considering that as few as 600 Americans suffer from the condition. But StemCells Chief Executiveosiris Martin McGlynn says doing so is the best way to make use of available money and leverage the technology into other diseases. The challenge is convincing others, including Wall Street, of the long-term payoff. A handful of firms are moving into various clinical-trial phases. Aastrom Biosciences is running a phase two trial of its bone repair technology based on adult stem cells. Osiris Therapeutics has a phase three trial of its stem cell drug for a life-threatening immune condition that can hit cancer patients after a bone marrow transplant. ViaCell is monitoring subjects who received its stem cell treatment for post-chemo-radiation blood cancer patients. Thviacelle stem cells in the phase one trial came from umbilical cord blood.


2 thoughts on “U.S. stem cell companies: a new roundup

  1. Thanks for the information: interesting product and targeted market.
    “It is the very first product on the market from the latest phytoceutical product category called “stem cell enhancers”.”
    Question is how many factors are necessary for the proper release of BM cells into the bloodstream, and then for the proper homing and functionality? My guess is that the number is above 10.

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