SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwire -03/07/12)- Medistem Inc. (Pinksheets: MEDS.PK – News) and Yale University have signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement covering the generation of pancreatic islets from stem cells such as the Endometrial Regenerative Cell (ERC). These pancreatic islets have effectively treated diabetes in animal models.
Professor Hugh Taylor of Yale University, inventor of the technology, made international headlines in September 2011 when he published his findings in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Therapy.
“Medistem is the first company to develop clinical-grade endometrial-derived stem cells and initiate trials in humans,” said Professor Taylor. “Since Medistem’s Endometrial Regenerative Cells are manufactured inexpensively, can be used as an ‘off the shelf’ product, and to date appear safe in human subjects, I am very excited to see diabetes added to the list of diseases that can potentially be treated with Medistem’s ERCs.”
Medistem is currently in two clinical trials with ERCs: One for critical limb ischemia and a second for congestive heart failure, both of which are complications of uncontrolled diabetes.
“Type 1 diabetes is a rapidly growing poorly-served market. There is great optimism that cell-based therapies can address not only pancreatic degeneration but also the underlying immunological causes,” said Dr. Alan Lewis, former CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the largest non-profit organization focused on development of new therapeutic approaches for this disease. “The ERC is the newest adult stem cell to enter clinical trials. Based on this unique source of cells, as well as their immune modulatory properties, we believe this work may be expanded into other autoimmune diseases.”