ALAMEDA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioTime, Inc., (OTCBB:BTIM) announced today that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has approved a grant to the Company of $4.7 million to fund research related to its ACTCellerate™ embryonic stem cell technology. The overall objective of this grant is to generate tools useful in applying ACTCellerate™ technology to the manufacture of patient-specific therapeutic products.
BioTime’s technologies in regenerative medicine are based on the power of human embryonic stem (hES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to become all of the cell types of the human body. There is a significant business opportunity in both the research and therapeutic sector for marketing the hundreds of human cell types that come from these stem cells. However, one of the greatest challenges for stem cell researchers is to identify methods to isolate the many hundreds of human cell types in a purified state.
The new grant funds awarded by CIRM will be used by BioTime to “industrialize” the manufacture of the purified cell types for therapeutic applications. In particular, the aims of the grant are to generate tools useful in implementing ACTCellerate™ technology in a patient-specific manner, such as from a patient’s own cells. Both BioTime and CIRM anticipate that the funded research may accelerate the translation of bench top science to bedside treatments for presently incurable diseases.
ACTCellerate™ is a novel technology that allows the expansion of over 140 highly-purified primitive human embryonic progenitor cells (hEPCs) from hES or iPS cells. These hEPCs may possess the ability to become a wide array of cell types with potential applications in research, drug discovery, and human regenerative stem cell therapy. BioTime already has isolated and expanded a number of hEPCs that are being marketed for research purposes only through the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Embryome Sciences, Inc.
CIRM was established in 2005 to fund over $3 billion dollars of research in the field of stem cell biology in California. In particular, it aims to support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine under the highest ethical and medical standards for the discovery and development of cures, therapies, diagnostics, and research technologies to relieve human suffering from chronic disease and injury. With this level of funding, CIRM is the largest source of funding for embryonic and pluripotent stem cell research in the world. CIRM’s website can be found at http://www.cirm.ca.gov.