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Cambrex and Cytori Therapeutics enter stem cell agreement

By Wai Lang Chu , 14-Jun-2006

The Cambrex Corporation and Cytori Therapeutics have formed a collaboration that aims to provide adipose-derived stem cell products globally for use in basic and translational bioresearch.

The collaboration taps into a market that is set to explode with the expectation that almost $14.2bn (€11.3bn) will be spent on stem cell research worldwide in the next ten years. As an example, the US stem cell therapeutic market is expected to reach $3.6bn in 2015.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cambrex Bio Science, a subsidiary of Cambrex Corporation will manufacture and market products to the research community under the co-exclusive license from Cytori.

In return for the license, Cytori will receive royalties on all cells, media, and related future research products based upon the licensed technology. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Adipose tissue is now a validated source of regenerative cells," said Shawn Cavanagh, senior vice president and general manager, Cambrex Bioproducts business.

"The scientific potential of this population has only begun to be mined, yet already shows promise in clinical case studies. We look forward to offering the products to researchers that are conducting basic and preclinical research related to these cells."

Adipose tissue is known to contain a rich population of stem and progenitor cells that have been shown to possess significant regenerative properties in multiple clinical disciplines.

It is a dynamic tissue, which, with further study, will help reveal previously hidden biological insights that could be applied toward the discovery of new therapies for a broad range of diseases.

"Our relationship with Cambrex ensures that scientists and physicians working on today's most challenging clinical problems including heart and neurological diseases have readily available access to our cell population," said Marc Hedrick, President of Cytori Therapeutics.

Stem cell research has generated much public and private interest, scientific speculation, ethical debate, and press from recent state funding initiatives, almost tripling government funding from $210 million in 2004 to $630 million in 2005 in the US alone.

Embryonic stem cells hold much more therapeutic promise, especially for type I diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and companies like Geron, ES Cell International, and NovoCell are expected to dominate the market by 2015.

Even with dramatic funding increases to ease high costs, there is still considerable difficulty in scaling up from the research laboratory stage to the product commercialization phase, considering the high costs involved in basic stem cell science research, safety testing, and manufacturing.

While there are currently no stem cell-based therapeutic products on the market, treatments based on adult and embryonic stem cells in development are very promising, especially for diabetes, cardiovascular indications, and autoimmune diseases.

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