Deal covers technology that uses peptides to enhance cell and stem cell based drugs.

BioTime says that it has taken over substantially all the assets of Cell Targeting (CTI), paying $250,000 in cash and issuing 261,959 common shares. The acquisition includes technology patented by Cell Targeting and an exclusive license to use technology invented by Erkki Ruoslahti, Ph.D., M.D., and his group at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI) for use in cell therapy.

The technology acquired from CTI uses peptides selected for their ability to adhere to diseased tissues. By coating these peptides onto the surfaces of therapeutic cells using techniques that do not modify the cell physiology, Cell Targeting has produced tissue-specific and disease-specific cell modification agents with potential to take cell therapy products to a new level of performance, BioTime says.

The phage display peptide technology licensed from SBMRI holds promise for use in directing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to sites in the body where they can have therapeutic effect, BioTime explains. The firm will initially provide this technology to its majority-owned subsidiary, OncoCyte, for R&D related to genetically modified hESC-derived vascular progenitors designed to target and destroy malignant tumors.

OncoCyte was formed in early 2009 to develop genetically modified stem cells capable of finding malignant tumors while carrying genes that can cause the destruction of the cancer cells. Since then, it has received $4 million in equity financing from private investors.

“Our acquisition of the assets of CTI is indicative of our plan to assemble a core of stem cell and related manufacturing technologies capable of enabling our development of a wide array of therapeutic products in the emerging field of regenerative medicine,” remarks Michael D. West, Ph.D., president and CEO of BioTime.

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