Unleashing the Promise - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Unleashing the Promise
An up-close look at some companies that may soon bring stem cell-based therapies to market.


Pharmaceutical Executive


MacroPore will retain distribution rights in Japan, which they licensed to Senko Medical Training Company for $3 million plus minimum purchase requirements and royalties. The company is also partnered with Medtronic Sofamor Danek for the co-development, marketing, and global distribution of their spinal/reconstructive implants. In addition, MacoPore received $100,000 in grants during the first quarter of 2004 and anticipates another $850,000 in NIH funds for Phase II research.

Public Funding Although the companies featured in this article develop adult stem cell-based therapeutics, commitment to embryonic stem cell research is not waning. California and New Jersey are at the forefront of movements to provide state support for embryonic stem cell research. In late 2004, California voters approved $3 billion in state funding for stem cell research. And during his term as New Jersey governor, James McGreevey allocated $11.5 million in funding for the New Jersey Stem Cell Institute, which could spawn corporate spin-offs and viable investment and strategic partnership opportunities.

The Coriell Institute, according to president Beck, is discussing a potential collaboration with Technion (Haifa, Israel), recognized for its work with embryonic stem cells. Dechert's De Trista cites the government-funded embryonic stem cell research taking place in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Sweden as worthy of consideration. "Singapore is even encouraging public and privately funded companies to set up shop in their five-hundred-million dollar Biopolis Laboratory."

Clearly, companies engaged in the development of regenerative medical technologies are serious about bringing their stem cell-based products and services to the market in the near future. At this point, although stem cell-based applications are not being applied with alchemical precision, they are being refined and their clinical utilization is increasing. Beck predicts, "We will live to see the day when stem cell therapy becomes part of routine medical care."

Nicole Gray, MS, works in pharmaceutical marketing communications and writes for consumer publications. She can be reached at (917) 319-4046 or
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