Grant to Support Research on Therapeutic Potential of Pure Lineage Restricted Cells Derived from hESCs
LOS ANGELES-- (BUSINESS WIRE)--Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB: ACTC - News) announced today that the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the company an SBIR Phase 1 Small Business Grant. The company will use the grant proceeds to conduct research that will allow for rapid labeling and purification of specific lineage restricted cells (LRCs) in cultures of differentiating human embryonic stem cells. If successful, the research will help the company more rapidly develop new regenerative therapies for a variety of indications including cardiovascular disease as well for commercialization of the LRCs and their peptide-targeting agents as research reagents. The research aims to create a process by which specific markers can be identified that will act like nametags allowing LRCs to be identified and then purified. With such markers, unique populations of cells can be isolated so that the benefits of these cells can be tested. The research grant from the NIH follows a previous NIH STTR grant award to ACT for a research project from the organization's National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) announced in January 2007.
"We are pleased that prestigious institutions such as the NIH continue to recognize and support our research and development programs," said William M. Caldwell, IV, Chairman and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology. "We will continue to work with the NIH and other organizations to raise awareness and capital to support our ongoing research and commercialization projects without diluting shareholder value. We also remain hopeful that the NIH will ultimately fund our single cell biopsy technique for generating human embryonic stem cell lines without damaging the developmental potential of the embryos."
In August 2006, ACT scientists published a paper in the journal Nature explaining its single-cell biopsy technique for generating hESC lines without destroying the developmental potential of the underlying embryos. In June 2007, the company announced that it had successfully produced such a line. That same month, President Bush issued an Executive Order requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct and support research on the isolation of pluripotent stem cells derived without destroying or harming human embryos. In September 2007, the NIH announced that it would begin implementing President Bush's Executive Order and that ACT's single cell biopsy technique was one of the methods under consideration for funding.
"As we've stated before, we believe our single cell biopsy technology directly addresses the President's ethical concerns and, unlike the other potential solutions described in the Executive Order, is available today," continued Mr. Caldwell. "We are encouraged by the NIH's willingness to explore ways to increase the federally approved stem cell lines available. We believe that such consideration reflects the will of the American people to bring novel therapies derived from stem cell research to patients with few or no alternatives.
About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The company operates facilities in California and Massachusetts.
For more information, visit "www.advancedcell.com":http://www.advancedcell.com
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