Archive by category | Industry

Stem cell companies moving to products

Crain’s Cleveland Business has an article reporting that investors and established companies are growing more interested in several adult stem-cell technologies. (Of course, given the current economic situation, investors are generally acting more shy than interested in anything.) The article discusses several companies focusing on those around Cleveland, Osiris is discussed, of course, but also Cytori, Athersys, Arteriocyte, AcelleRX Therapeutics. and Cell Targeting. (Our article In search of a business model also looks at this topic, primarily interviewing representatives of investors and big drug companies.)  … Read more

Pfizer launches regenerative medicine unit

The pharmaceutical giant made it official today. It has launched a regenerative medicine unit co-located in Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, MA. It will have about 70 full-time employees, but the cheery news for stem-cell start-ups is the focus on deal-making. The company’s press release hinted that several scientific collaborations would be announced this week, and Pfizer’s head of bio-innovation reportedly said that this initiative might very well help some young companies stay alive through the financial crisis. (See the Wall Street Journal blog. For a broader view, see In search of a viable business model.)  … Read more

VCs consider routes to make reprogrammed cells into products

Posted by Monya Baker on behalf of Natalie DeWitt What do the top venture capitalists interested in investing in iPS cells consider the major hurdles on the road to viable clinical products? Today stem-cell scientists Deepak Srivastava and Shinya Yamanaka of the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco were joined by Beth Seidenberg of venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers to answer that question for an audience consisting mainly of investors. Yamanaka was reluctant to give a timetable for clinical application. Alternatives to viral integration as a means to make iPS cells are clearly on the way, he said, but  … Read more

How can taxpayer-funded stem-cell initiatives ease research, commercialization?

Maryland has just issued requests for proposals in stem cell research for a series of five-year grants for projects with supporting data plus two-year grants for more exploratory research. Graduate students and post-docs across the U.S. can apply to work in Maryland stem-cell labs for fellowships worth up to $55,000.  Read more

Companies have company at stem cell conference

I didn’t expect to find so much industry here, at this year’s World Stem Cell Summitt in Madison, Wisconsin. The companies are diverse, from giant New York–based Pfizer to teeny, tiny start-ups, and so are their goals. Pfizer is creating a new division of regenerative medicine, and the new head, John McNeish, spoke of plans to use stem cells to identify new drug targets and to screen drugs for toxicity and efficacy. They’ve already run over a million compounds through assays that used stem cells (I think mouse embryonic stem cells).  Read more