Invitrogen venture further into cell therapy with new unit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cell therapy, Stem cell, Invitrogen

Invitrogen has announced the creation of a new business unit that
aims to further integrate its presence within the cell therapy
market, as it aims to stamp its authority specifically in the cell
analysis tools market.

The creation of the new Cell Therapy Systems business is aimed at grabbing the lion's share of what is expected to be a $30bn industry by 2010. Additionally it would build on the firm's existing technologies that currently include Dynal magnetic beads for cell isolation, Gibco cell expansion media, and Molecular Probes cell characterisation tools. While financial details were not disclosed, Invitrogen commented during a conference call in October last year that the company planned to invest more heavily in cell biology because it saw, "extremely promising growth trends​" in the field. "We are putting the cell at the centre of our strategy - [it is] the key link between our BioDiscovery and Cell Culture Systems segments​," said Invitrogen CEO Greg Lucier. Last year, Invitrogen began focusing more on the cell analysis tools market, rather than its traditional molecular biology markets. Around this time Invitrogen underwent something of an acquisition phase acquiring primary cell provider CellzDirect for around $57m at the start of this year. The acquired firm specialises in hepatocyte-based cell products and related services to predict a compounds effects on metabolism in the liver. Invitrogen also acquired cell culture technologies firm Cascade Biologics at the beginning of 2007, and earlier this year revealed details of an investment it had made in cell therapy firm Q Therapeutics. Q Therapeutics develops cell-based therapies for a variety of central nervous system and neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Invitrogen commented at the time that by investing early in a company such as Q Therapeutics, Invitrogen could, 'increase its learning around the types of tools such companies need helping the firm to move the field more quickly toward innovative therapies.' "We bring project-management capabilities to the table, pulling together tools, reagents, and services from across the company to meet the specific needs of cell therapy companies​," said Joydeep Goswami, Invitrogen's vice president of stem cells and regenerative medicine. According to market researchers BioPortfolio, one of the therapies fuelling growth is stem cell therapy. Many investors and large companies that have preferred to avoid the possible controversies of embryonic stem cells are finding alternatives in adult stem cells. The potential use of adult stem cells for therapies may offer substantial opportunities for cell therapy companies looking to capitalise on a market that is currently estimated to exceed $500m in the US and Europe. Invitrogen currently reports financials for two primary business units: Bio-Discovery and Cell Systems. The company said that the new Cell Therapy Systems unit would be part of the Cell Systems segment.

Related topics: Contract Manufacturing & Logistics

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