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GEN News Highlights : Jan 9, 2008

BioTime Licenses Human Embryonic Stem Cell Technology from WARF

Agreement enhances the firm’s ability to launch three products in the next two years that will facilitate work in this field.

BioTime licensed 173 patents and related applications linked to human embryonic stem cell technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The deal will strengthen its subsidiary’s ability to develop medical and research products using embryonic stem cells.

BioTime recently entered the field of regenerative medicine through Embryome Sciences, its wholly owned subsidiary. Embryome Sciences plans to develop and commercialize a technology platform called Embryomics™ to facilitate stem cell research. It will provide new products for the identification, scale-up, and purification of cell types that emerge from human embryonic stem cells, BioTime explains.

“The license of the WARF patents will allow us to manufacture and commercialize human embryonic stem cell-derived cell types and related products for scientists to use in research and in drug discovery,” comments BioTime CEO, Michael West, Ph.D.

BioTime plans to launch three kinds of Embryomics research products in the next two years. The first will be a commercial database, which researchers will be able to use to navigate the complexities of human development and to identify cell types that can be derived from human embryonic stem cells. The company expects an initial launch with a database map of the mouse embryome this year and the human embryome by June 2008.

BioTime plans to develop growth and differentiation factors that allow investigators to manufacture specific cell types from embryonic stem cells. The firm hopes to launch the first of these Escalate™ products beginning in March 2008.
BioTime also plans to provide products for identification and purification of cells that originate from human embryonic stem cells.