ECON: Fifteen Hot Stem Cell Companies To Watch

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 13:11:47 MDT

Genomics News Wire
Federal funding limits for stem cell research has focused attention to
the private sector. Several companies have been scrambling to acquire
and cultivate lines of stem cells from a variety of sources. Here are
companies that have taken a lead on stem cell research:

Aastrom (Nasdaq: ASTM)
Ann Arbor, MI
Aastrom's main research efforts have used adult bone marrow and
umbilical cord blood. The company has cord blood and bone marrow-derived
stem cell therapies in phase III clinical trials, two stem cell
therapies in phase II trials for severe osteoporosis and leukemias, and
two potential anti-cancer therapies in pre-clinical testing.

Advanced Cell Technology
Worchester, MA
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) developed a way to clone primitive human
stem cells by transferring a human cell nucleus into a bovine egg cell.
The company made news in January 2001 by successfully cloning an
endangered animal, a guar. ACT's initial stem cell research is directed
at treating rejection of transplanted organs and neurodegenerative
diseases such as
Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's.

Cedar Knolls, NJ
Developed way to harvest stem cells from placentas, which are otherwise
routinely discarded after childbirth. The company claims the ability to
collect 10 times as many stem cells than other methods.

Cambrex (NYSE: CBM)
East Rutherford, NJ
Offers hematopoietic stem cells through its own FDA-approved paid bone
marrow donor program, as well from peripheral blood stimulated by growth
factors, umbilical cord blood and fetal liver tissue.

Cythera, Inc.
San Diego, CA
A small, privately held company with nine embryonic stem cell
derivations on the NIH registry. Cythera's stem cells, which were
created with a novel process different from the method patented by the
University of Wisconsin, have not yet been fully characterized. When
ready, Cythera says it intends to make their stem cells available to the
research community. The
company's initial focus is the development of functional islet cell
transplants for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes.

Geron (Nasdaq: GERN)
Menlo Park, CA
Geron acted decisively and early to acquire key patents of stem cell
pioneers James Thompson of University of Wisconsin and John Gearhart of
Johns Hopkins. In August 2001, Geron was sued by Wisconsin Alumni
Research Foundation (WARF), which holds the Thompson patents, over
options to negotiate additional stem rights. Under the initial license
agreement, Geron has exclusive commercialization rights to stem cells
that arise to liver, muscle, neural, bone, pancreatic and blood tissue.

Incara Pharmaceuticals
Research Triangle Park, NC
Developing human liver stem cells for the treatment of liver failure,
based on a patented method developed by Lola M. Reid of the University
of North Carolina. The company plans to begin phase I clinical trials in
late 2001.

Ixion Biotechnology
Alachua, FL
Located near University of Florida, Gainesville, Ixion is developing
pancreatic islet stem cells for the treatment of diabetes. Has succeeded
in sustaining islet stem cells in culture, which has been an elusive
goal. Products not yet in clinical trials.

Layton Biosciences
Sunnyvale, CA
Produces human neural cells that aren't exactly stem cells, but derived
from a cancer cell line developed by Peter Andrews in the early 1980s at
the Wistar Institute (Philadelphia, PA). The company intends to develop
treatments for diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Began phase I clinical trials in 1998.

College Park, MD
Small, privately held firm formed in 1996 to commercialize breakthrough
central nervous system stem cell technology created by Karl Johe while
at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Malvern, PA
Developed a proprietary way to derive stem cells from adult bone marrow.
Main research programs are to develop treatments for spinal cord injury,
brain tumor and Parkinson's disease.

Nexell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NEXL)
Irvine, CA
Focused on enhancing human immune function with hematopoietic stem cells
for the treatment of inherited blood disorders, cancer, and autoimmune
diseases. Involved in phase III trial in stem cell therapy for
graft-versus-host disease, and an early clinical trial evaluating stem
cell transplantation in the treatment of chronic granulomatous disease.

Osiris Therapeutics
Baltimore, MD
A privately held company developing replacement connective tissue such
as cartilage and tendon from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Osiris
recently laid off about one-third of its 80 employees when Swiss pharma
giant Novartis withdrew financial support. Has two programs in clinical
trials to regenerate bone and bone marrow. Also has research program in
regenerating heart tissue from stem cells.

Stem Cells, Inc. (Nasdaq: STEM)
Palo Alto, CA
Developing stem cells for the treatment of diabetes, liver disease and
central nervous system disorders, based largely on technology developed
at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

Tissue Therapeutics
Chicago, IL
Developing a bioreactor system to cultivate stem cells derived from
umbilical cord blood.


Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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