BioTime has set up a subsidiary OrthoCyte to focus on the development of novel stem cell-based regenerative products for orthopedics. Potential products will include therapeutics for bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The firm says the move fits in with its long-term strategy of establishing subsidiaries focused on specific therapeutic applications of its technology.
CSO of OrthoCyte will be Arnold I. Caplan, Ph.D., professor of biology and general medical sciences and director of the skeletal research center at Case Western Reserve University. BioTime’s existing subsidiaries include the cancer therapeutics-focused OncoCyte (www.oncocyte.com) and the stem cell research products business, Embryome Sciences.
Formation of the new subsidiary follows BioTime's acquisition in May of Singapore-based ES Cell International. BioTime’s push into Asian markets was given a significant leg up in September 2009, with the firm’s establishment of an Asian subsidiary in China.
BioTime has a two-pronged business focus, centered on the development of both stem cell technology and products for use in regenerative medicine as well as blood plasma volume expanders and related technology for use in surgery, emergency trauma treatment, and other applications. The firm’s lead commercial product is Hextend®, a formulation of 6% hetastarch combined with a physiologically balanced crystalloid carrier, which BioTime claims more closely mirrors plasma electrolyte balance than 6% hetastarch in 0.9% sodium chloride.