- CellTherapy 2010. Save the date. Submit your session ideas. www.celltherapy2010.com
- While you're planning your calendar, plan on the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit September 21-23, 2009. Baltimore Convention Center Baltiomore, Maryland. (the 2008 World Stem Cell Summit webcast and downloadable World Stem Cell Report are at www.worldstemcellsummit.com).
- Curiously, the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (I know. I hadn't heard of it either until now.) has announced that its "Translational Issues in Regenerative Medicine" conference is the "premiere event for leaders in regenerative medicine translation, representing academic research, clinical, healthcare policy, regulatory, reimbursement, investment and biotechnology industry interests." Curious because it has yet to ever occur. That being said, if they do what they promise, it may just well be. I'm trying to learn more and when I do I'll let you know. Meantime, this is about all I know:
Twin City Quarter
"...to facilitate business development opportunities, the conference will feature a venture forum including 15 regenerative medicine companies, as well as partnering sessions."
Do yourself a favor. Stop monkeying around with home-made cryopreservation brew or, for than matter, any media not built to minimize cellular damage from freezing and thawing.
I'm dedicating this issue of Cell Therapy Industry HiLites to TiGenix NV (NYSE EURONEXT: TIG). TiGenix wins the Cell Therapy Group "kick-ass cell therapy company of the week" award which is, of course, something I just made up but they had have a great week raising several million dollars, announcing plans for a new European facility, and receiving a positive opinion from the EMEA CHMP which all but assures them of an MAA within 90 days applicable in 30 European countries. See details below.
TiGenix (NYSE EURONEXT: TIG) has secured the necessary financing to fund the set-up of a GMP manufacturing facility in Europe through a private placement for a total amount of EUR 5,4 million. The investment agreement was subscribed by NV Industriebank LIOF, Particon BV, Limburg Ventures BV and LRM NV. The funds will be used to set up a new cell expansion facility in Europe for the commercial production of its cell based products in the Netherlands. The financing for the facility has been secured through a private placement. After carefully evaluating a number of options throughout Europe, taking into consideration technical, logistical, regulatory and financial criteria, TiGenix has selected a building on the Chemelot Campus, near to Maastricht, the Netherlands, to locate its new cell expansion facility. The site is centrally located in TiGenix’ key European markets, in a region that is strong in distribution and (bio)logistics and that is highly committed to develop as a transnational knowledge centre in life sciences and regenerative medicine.
The company also announced another deal saying it has signed an exclusive 10-year agreement with Enhance BioMedical Holdings Limited, a
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIR) announced six-month interim data from a Phase II clinical trial evaluating Prochymal, the Company's formulation of adult mesenchymal stem cells, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The trial failed to demonstrate an improvement in pulmonary function in COPD patients. The company, quickly becoming practised at spinning what might be considered bad news, said they were pleased the data did provide additional evidence of safety for the product in addition to demonstrating significantly decreased inflammation in the COPD patients. Sixty-two patients were enrolled and are being followed for two years in the placebo-controlled study.
Not to be outdone by finance and operational teams, the regulatory team at TiGenix also announced reason to celebrate this week. TiGenix (NYSE EURONEXT: TIG) announced that the company received a positive opinion from the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT) and the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) on the European Marketing Authorisation application (MAA) for
its lead product ChondroCelect.
CHMP opinions are forwarded to the European Commission for adoption of the final community Marketing Authorisation, which is typically issued between 60 and 90 days from adoption of the CHMP opinion. I'm told that European Commission generally follows the advice of the CHMP but, as Dendreon, there's little reason to celebrate until the formal approval is formalized. For the EMEA take and related info on the decision, click here.
Upon approval, ChondroCelect will be, I believe, the first product approved under the new ATMP regulatory framework. It will certainly be the first cell based product to be centrally approved in the 27 member states of the European Union as well as in Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway under the new Advanced-Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) legislation.
Meanwhile, rumor has it the company is already in talks with another potential suitor.
Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc. (OTCBB: SCII), through its wholly owned subsidiary AmStem International, Inc., announced that it has "started the process" to enable it distribute Histostem's products in anticipation of the finalization of the merger between Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc. and Histostem. This is intented, according to the SCTI President and CEO, to "enable AmStem International, Inc. to begin US distribution and immediately bolster the company's cash flow". However, the product has yet to be the subject of a clinical study in the U.S. for which they are seeking "investigators...of the highest caliber, to compare its Stem Cell Facial Cream with others on the market."
The companies reportedly continue "to work on the necessary steps to finalize the merger, and both sides are working diligently to manage its many details."
This week's issue of Science has a special focus on stem cells including a piece on "" by Donald W. Fink, Jr. of FDA, CBER, an article on stem cell tourism and 3 reviews. 26 June 2009. Vol 324, Issue 5935, Pages 1603-1754
Thanks again to BioLife Solutons. Congratulations to Tigenix. May the force be with all of you and for those going to ISSCR later this week....safe travels and please try not to enjoy Barcelona too much without me!