Stem Cell Companies and Research
Over the last decade, as research into the application of stem cell technology advanced a large array of stem cell companies has been formed. While there are identifiable focus areas for companies within this space, the purpose of these companies often vary greatly as businesses are trying to create niches within this lucrative industry. This site aims to help you understand the different types of stem cell companies that exist out there and the typical services they offer. Whether you are doing research for investment or medical purposes we hope to be able to help you navigate the maze of companies and relationships involved in stem cell technology and treatments.
Let’s start by taking a look at some prominent players in the market:
Based in Boston USA, 3Dm stem cell company innovates treatments for regenerating tissues and healing wounds. Its product is PuraMatrix, an award winning therapy. They incorporate nanotechnology which , when injected into the body, releases stem cell proteins for the purposes of bone and heart regeneration. The treatment was in preclinical trials in 2007.
The treatment in essence looks at the building blocks of the cell and engineers a solution to synthesising amino acids. In 2010 the stem cell company found itself among the top 100 with exceptional potential globally.
Aastrom in Michgan USA on the other hand, also treats heat disease with their product ixmyelocel-T. This innovation harnesses the body’s ability to heal itself and also treats critical limb ischemia (CLI). CLI is a vascular/arterial obstruction causing the flow of blood to extremities.
Their Ixmyelocel-T (see diagram) employs their own system for processing cells assisting to expand these organisms many times more than naturally present in a small sample of bone marrow.
Image courtesy of http://www.aastrom.com/
The product is designed to treat patients who suffer from not only CLI but also Dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM. This is a disease whereby the heart’s ability to process blood becomes compromised which in turn affects the other organs. This focus falls on the heart muscle and ventricles, ailing men more often than women.
In treatment, stem cell companies such as Aastrom begin with extracting cells from the patient to ensure optimal immune integration. The bone marrow is activated on a cellular level to multiply to three hundred times the normal cell ratio. A variety of relevant cells are targeted and used in the treatment to assist with the immune system optimisation. The process is conducted in the least invasive manner possible for bone marrow transplants with duration of fifteen minutes for extraction and twenty for the outpatient procedure. Stem cell companies such as Aastrom offer the surety of a 400 patients treated successfully.
Celgene in New Jersey focus primarily on treating the source instead of symptom. They specialise in the following;
- cell biology;
- technologies focussed on treatment targeting;
- teams focussed on investigating new therapies; and
- invitro and vivo diseases for monitoring and evaluating various drug’s successes and failures
The stem cell company is also concerned with developing an immune-modulatory agent and therapies for cells and tissues designed to better understand various complexities in diseases.
Geron stem cell company based in Delaware is focussed upon a variety of cancer treatments and diseases of degeneration. Their technologies deliver treatments by penetrating the BBB or blood brain barrier. Cultures of embryonic stem cells are used which target a number of various ailments and diseases including heart attacks and diabetes. They are currently busy conducting a first phase trial for injury to the spinal cord.
The stem cell company joins the ranks of those pioneering organ regeneration. In addressing tendencies of embryonic stem cells to form tumours, rigorous testing is applied. Conclusions thus far allude to the safety of uncontaminated embryonic stem cells versus those contaminated and show a year long period of no tumour formation. Precautionary measures against the formation of cysts are also in place such as molecular markers after studies revealed methods for treatment and prevention. In addition, thorough testing mice showed that when treating the spinal cord injury, no toxicity was discovered.
WiCell in Wisconsin on the other hand, is collaboratively linked to the Madison University with a specialisation in stem cell pluripotence. Their services include training, distribution of cell lines, research and development as well as the establishment of protocols. WiCell also lays claim to having established the first stem cell bank WISC. WiCell offers various cell lines to choose from as well as an online access portal through which to purchase stock for research which is then shipped to the laboratory in question.
Cellerix in Madrid, Spain is a stem cell company that uses adipose tissue for its treatments of auto-immune malfunctions. Its first product was accepted for 3rd phase studies in eight countries across Europe. In addition, its partnership with Axcan Phara in the US has allowed a wider market reach. Their product, Ontaril, uses the autologous (patient’s own) cells to treat immune and inflammatory ailments.
CellGenix in Germany on the other hand utilises umbilical stem cells for its treatments. Their product, CellGro, expands T cells derived from cord and bloodcells. The product does not contain animal extracts and is easily replicated. The Cytokine phase 1 to 4 plus preclinic is represented as follow to reflect high quality ex vivo cultures.
As distributor, CellGenix has also partnered with manufacturer American Fluoroseal Corp and together they offer two cell culture products. What sets them aside from other products of this kind is their cryopreservation technology which is available in bags whose cultured contents are even persevered when dipped in liquid nitrogen.
This stem cell company also offers a bank for cord blood cells, a public bank open for donation and storage.
An additional product is CartiGro, cultured to replace cartilage defects in joints. The knee area in particular is not able to regenerate of its own accord, thus preventing the ailments that set in with age. Since the turn of the century, over a thousand patients have been treated with success using this product.
Danish stem cell company, NsGene focuses on neurological disease such as Alzheimers, patients with a tendency to epileptic fits and Parkinson’s. Their neuropathic therapy went from phase one to clinical development in 2010. These products also deliver beyond the BBB. When dealing with central nervous system therapies, the company employs specialised technologies. In addition, the future is looking to neurotrophic proteins as central nervous system therapies.
Stem cell company, TiGenix in Brussels refers to its market differentiator as ‘Living Medicines’. Their product focus includes knee cartilage regenerators derived from chondrocytes in the patient’s body. Its second offering is an implant for bone and cartilage defects/lesions with a collagen base. In 2011 they entered into the randomized stage of a second phase study on rheumatoid arthritis.
Stem cell companies: an evolution in banking
StemCyte in California offers storage for cord stem cells for future use and also have banks in India and Taiwan. The blood is collected post birthing, and a kit for collecting needs to be available at the hospital which not all institutions have. They list important reasons to bank cord cells.
- A rare opportunity to save therapeutic cells for the family’s future. Blood from the baby’s umbilical cord can be tailored to regenerate into organ, blood or other tissues. Because of the perfect genetic match, these cells can be used to treat ailments and diseases such as cancer, cartilage degeneration and heart disorders in the family.
- Stem cell companies who offer cell banks present a once in a lifetime cure for which bone marrow is usually used for transplant treatment. These cells can treat a wide range of chronic immune diseases.
- Stem cells from the baby’s cord blood are a perfect tissue match for the child and genetically predisposed to matching siblings.
- On-going innovation in stem cell research has seen a rise in the number of parents banking cord blood. This is coupled with a rise in transplant odds from one in two thousand to one in four hundred.
- Considering the history of the family and hereditary diseases, saving cord blood with stem cell companies like StemCyte is encouraged. It is not necessarily easy for all ethnic diversities to access transplant cells which are a match, saving cells will thus offer greater security and foresight for the future.
This stem cell company has good results in bone marrow reconstitution which avert dangerous immune reactions using HLA or human leukocyte antigen tissue typing methods. Genes relating to immunity are found in the sixth chromosome. The complex proteins involved relate to organ transplant factors due to the fact that they oversee interactions with the white blood immunity soldier cells. In essence HLA is what MHC (major histocompatibility complex) is called. MHC refers to the genetically coded surface are of a cell and thus deals primarily with matters of compatibility.Stem cell companies such as StemCyte have even innovated double cord transplants to further proliferate the amount of stem cells.
Equine stem cell therapy
VetCell stem cell company specialises in research and treatment of a different kind- horses. Their product, StemRegen is engineered to treat strain to the superficial tendon known as digital flexor. Their focus lies in leg injuries to horses as well as preventing lame-ness. One can purchase what was formerly known as platelet rich plasma (PRP), E-PET or a therapy which enhances the platelets. These cells heal both tissue and bone by releasing cytokines. These molecules are messaging systems between cells to secrete proteins or peptides into the nervous system for immune response purposes. Platelets aid the process of clotting. VetCell stem cell company employs this technique of treating the injury to the horse reduces the risk of injuring it once again by 50%. Hankemeier, analytical biosciences expert experienced that multi potent stem cells which are able to differentiate into any given cell type required, repaired the patella tendon of a rat. It is from this lineage of study since 2005 that the product ensued.
The stem cells are cultured during an eighteen day process after which the lesion is treated via ultra sound and a yearlong process of rehabilitation is then required for healing.
Stempeutics stem cell company in India and Malaysia treat the following diseases, among others;
- Liver cirrhosis;
- Myocardial infarction; and
Their modus operandi is one of ex vivo cultured homogenous and donated bone marrow derived MSC’s. In addition, they conduct research using Wharton’s Jelly, originating in the the umbilical cord due to the richness of these potent stem cells. Among the projects of this stem cell company are isolation study and culturing of these WJ stem cells.
It is not clear which type of adult stem cell or MSC should be selected for the different therapeutic approaches. In order to assign a molecular signature to the MSCs from different sources, we attempt to identify a distinctive gene expression profile for the MSCs from various tissue sources with respect to early lineage differentiation and stem cell markers.
The research carried out in the stem cell company affiliated to Stempeutics in Kuala Lumpur focuses on stem cells from dental pulp for the purpose of treating neuro-degenerative disease.
Other stem cell companies include;
- NovoCell, Inc.
- Odontis Ltd
- Aldagen, Inc.
- PharmaStem Therapeutics
- RhinoCyte, Inc.
- Saneron CCEL Therapeutics
- CellTran Ltd
- Proneuron Biotechnologies
- Cognate BioServices
- Angel Biotechnology
- Capsant Neurotechnologies
- Tissue Regeneration Technologies
- Vesta Therapeutics
- Bioheart, Inc
- Cryo Cord
- Cytomatrix LLC
- FortiCell Bioscience, Inc.
- Garnet BioTherapeutics
- Global Stem
- Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.
- VistaGen Therapeutics
- Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc.
- Lifebank Cryogenics Corp.
- MD Biosciences
Stem cell companies, like any other businesses are judged by who stands out on the stock market. The popularity of embryonic stem cells considering their potential does not necessarily mean that they attract investors. Geron in California is a market leader, having supported Wisconsin University as well as possessing valuable cloning IP. Its assets boast over 60 million dollars. A partnership with Celera (gene specialists) boosted its existing weight.
BioTransplant in Charlestown partnered with Stem Cell Sciences of Australia and focuses on immune cell strengthening and offers MedImmune, an in-development product. Needless to say among stem cell companies, umbilical cells are a money-spinner that Cryo-Cell International hit on the nose.
In the USA, profits have been aligned to policy – suggesting that a democratic, as opposed to republican alliance would be better for profit due to their stance on embryonic cell research. Time and innovation will tell which stem cell companies will thrive in this new, emerging and challenging niche market.