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GEN News Highlights : May 22, 2008

Medistem and Orcrist Ally on Stem Cell Therapies

Orcist’s stem cell augmenting agent will be used with Medistem’s ERC population.

Medistem Laboratories and Orcrist Bio are partnering to  develop therapies based upon Medistem’s endometrial regenerative cell (ERC) population and Orcrist’s HYC750 technology.

Orcrist’s lead program is investigating stem cells for the treatment of chemotherapy-related white blood cell depletion. HYC750 is a stem cell mobilizer compound that promotes the egress of stem cells and other blood cells from the bone marrow into the blood, from where they can be harvested.

Medistem touts ERC as a novel type of stem cell. According to the firm, it is a universal donor stem cell derived from the menstrual blood that possesses the ability to differentiate into nine tissue types, produce large quantities of growth factors, and has a large proliferative capacity.

“If one takes a step back and looks at the field of regenerative medicine, the first phase will be clinical entry of stem cell types, which is already occurring; the second phase will be development of pharmaceutical agents that augment activity of stem cells,” says Thomas Ichim, Ph.D., CEO of Medistem. “Orcrist has strongly positioned themselves as developers of stem cell augmenting agents. Their lead compound HYC750 is in late preclinical development, thus providing a potential synergistic agent to technologies we are currently developing.”