Our goal is to provide innovative tools and reagents to meet these challenges and enable researchers to take their investigations to the next level. This agreement is a mechanism to supply researchers working with human embryonic stem cells with the tools they need.
Vancouver, British Columbia, and Menlo Park, Calif. (PRWEB) May 15, 2008
STEMCELL Technologies, Inc. and Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today announced that Geron has granted a license to STEMCELL Technologies ("STEMCELL") under Geron intellectual property relating to primate pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells.
The non-exclusive license provides STEMCELL with rights under certain Geron patents to develop, manufacture and sell cell culture media and matrix surfaces for research use only. Geron will receive license payments and is entitled to royalties on sales of products developed under the license. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The initial product covered by the license is STEMCELL's mTeSR™1 medium, which became available to the research community last June. mTeSR™1 is the first commercially available feeder-independent, serum-free, defined maintenance medium for human embryonic stem cells.
"Through our background in stem cell research and close ties with leading scientists we understand the ongoing technical challenges of performing cutting edge research," said Terry Thomas, Ph.D., STEMCELL's vice president of research and development. "Our goal is to provide innovative tools and reagents to meet these challenges and enable researchers to take their investigations to the next level. This agreement is a mechanism to supply researchers working with human embryonic stem cells with the tools they need."
The license granted to STEMCELL includes rights under Geron's patents covering the growth of human embryonic stem cells ("hESCs") without the need for feeder cells or feeder-conditioned medium. Conventionally, hESCs have been grown in direct contact with mouse or human feeder cells or in media conditioned by such feeder cells. The use of fully defined, feeder-free culture methods increases scalability and reproducibility of stem cell culture and reduces the risk of contamination of the stem cell populations by infectious agents from the feeder cells or other animal-sourced culture components.
"New and innovative media products will supplement the tools currently available to scientists in this rapidly evolving field," said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Geron's chief patent counsel and senior vice president of business development. "We believe that the license to STEMCELL Technologies will result in a broader selection of products for stem cell researchers."
About STEMCELL Technologies
STEMCELL Technologies, a leader in specialty cell culture media, cell separation products and ancillary reagents for stem cell research, is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in Vancouver, Canada. Driven by science, STEMCELL delivers over 800 products to more than 60 countries worldwide. To learn more about how STEMCELL helps to make research work, visit http://www.stemcell.com.
Geron is developing first-in-class biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes. The company is advancing an anti-cancer drug and a cancer vaccine that target the enzyme telomerase through multiple clinical trials. Geron is also the world leader in the development of human embryonic stem cell-based therapeutics, with its spinal cord injury treatment anticipated to be the first product to enter clinical development. For more information, visit http://www.geron.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements in this press release regarding potential applications of Geron's human embryonic stem cell technology constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, uncertainty of clinical trial results or regulatory approvals or clearances, need for future capital, dependence upon collaborators and maintenance of our intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Geron's periodic reports, including the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.
Media and Investors: David Schull, Russo Partners, LLC, 858-717-2310
At Geron: David L. Greenwood, Chief Financial Officer, 650-473-7765
STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.:
Jonathan Rosenberg, PhD
Vice President of Business Development