The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Announces New Technology for Preventing Catastrophic Adult Stem Cell Toxicity During Drug Development

Share Article

On June 3, at the 7th Annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day, Dr. James L. Sherley, Director of The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC presented a new technology developed to identify drug candidates that are toxic to adult stem cells. This first technology of its kind meets a long-standing unmet need of the pharmaceutical industry, with potential to save billions of dollars in drug development costs each year while accelerating the arrival of new effective, and safe, drugs to patients.

James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., Director of ASCTC

AlphaSTEM is a remarkable technology that allows us to extract information about adult stem cells from cell growth data that we always knew was there, but didn't have a means to access. Now we can get it and put it to good use for patients.

Today, Dr. James L. Sherley, the Director of Boston’s Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC (ASCTC) described a new technology for identification of new drug candidates that are toxic to adult stem cell cells in the human body. The new “AlphaSTEM” technology is the first of its kind to address a long-standing unmet need in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Sherley presented the AlphaSTEM technology at the 7th Annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day (MALSI Day 2014; at the Harvard Club of Boston. ASCTC is one of a select number of start-up companies invited to present posters on their newest innovative biotechnologies at the all day event, which features “the best and brightest” life sciences innovations of the year.

Just as adult stem cells are crucial for life and normal organ function, their safety is crucial for successful treatment with new drugs. Even if a new drug has high activity against a disease or disorder; it will not be an effective treatment, if it is also too toxic to adult stem cells.

Adult stem cells are found in all renewing tissues and organs of the human body, like hair, skin, liver, and even the brain. They are responsible for replacing old mature tissue cells with new young cells. They are also essential cells for repairing injured tissues and wounds.

Some drugs are known to harm adult stem cells. Examples of these are many cancer drugs. Cancer drugs are often administered at the highest doses at which patients can tolerate the adverse effects of the drugs on adult stem cells. ASCTC’s AlphaSTEM technology could accelerate discovery of better cancer drugs with less adult stem cell toxicity.

The major application proposed for the new AlphaSTEM technology is use by pharmaceutical companies to identify adult stem cell-toxic drugs before initiating clinical trials with them or entering the marketplace. Drug failure in clinical trials due to safety concerns is a major unrecovered cost of drug development. Chronic adult stem cell toxicity that now may go undetected until after marketing can result in tragic deaths for patients and catastrophic injury liabilities for the responsible drug companies. The Merck drug Vioxx® is an example of such an unfortunate mishap.

The problem faced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical industry is how to monitor drug effects on adult stem cells, when the cells are difficult to identify, isolate, produce, and count. The solution presented by ASCTC was a computer simulation approach based on the universal tissue cell production properties of adult stem cells.

ASCTC partnered with AlphaSTAR Corporation, a leading global provider of simulation technologies, to develop the AlphaSTEM software program that can simulate the culture multiplication of adult tissue stem cells found in any human tissue. AlphaSTEM technology not only has the power to detect drug toxicity against adult stem cells, but also against other specialized types of tissue cells specifically.

Director Sherley predicted that the introduction of AlphaSTEM technology into the pharmaceutical industry would have many immediate benefits. With relatively inexpensive detection of drugs destined to fail in expensive clinical trials, the new technology could save billions of currently wasted dollars, reducing overall drug development costs in the U.S. by as much as 20%. These savings could accelerate the rate of arrival of new effective drugs to patients by a comparable reduction in time. AlphaSTEM technology may also reduce the occurrence of drugs thought safe, but which actual have a lurking toxicity that emerges as lethal to some patients with wider and longer use.

The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC (ASCTC) is a Massachusetts life sciences company established in September 2013. ASCTC director and founder, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is the foremost authority on the unique properties of adult stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification - that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for cell medicine and drug development. Currently, ASCTC is employing its technological advantage to pursue commercialization of mass-produced therapeutic human liver cells and facile assays for screening-out drug candidates that are toxic to tissue stem cells.

Contact Information:

The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC
P.O. Box 301179
Boston, MA 02130
Phone:    617-990-6819
E-mail:    jlsherley(at)gmail(dot)com

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.
Visit website