MissionIR News - VistaGen Therapeutics to Speed Development of Drug Screening and Cell Therapy for Immune System Disorders through License Agreement

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Company signs licensing agreement to utilize breakthrough stem cell culture technology from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine

MissionIR would like to highlight VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB: VSTA), focused on applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy. Drug rescue combines human stem cell technology with modern medicinal chemistry to generate new chemical variants ("drug rescue variants") of promising drug candidates that have been discontinued during preclinical development ("put on the shelf") due to heart or liver safety concerns.

In the company’s news yesterday,

VistaGen Therapeutics announced it has licensed breakthrough stem cell culture technology from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine located at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada.

VistaGen will be utilizing the licensed technology to develop hematopoietic precursor stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells, with the goal of developing drug screening and cell therapy applications for human blood system disorders. The breakthrough technology is included in a new United States patent application.

Hematopoietic precursor stem cells give rise to all red and white blood cells and platelets in the body. VistaGen will use the UHN invention to improve the cell culture methods used to efficiently produce hematopoietic stem cell populations.

“This technology dramatically advances our ability to produce and purify this important blood stem cell precursor for both in vitro drug screening and in vivo cell therapy applications,” said H. Ralph Snodgrass, PhD, VistaGen’s President and Chief Scientific Officer.

“In addition to defining new cell culture methods for our use, the technology describes the surface characteristics of stem cell-derived adult hematopoietic stem cells. Most groups study embryonic blood development from stem cells, but, for the first time, we are able to not only purify the stem cell-derived precursor of all adult hematopoietic cells, but also pinpoint the precise timing when adult blood cell differentiation takes place in these cultures,” Snodgrass added. “It is our belief that these early cells will be the precursors of the ultimate adult, bone marrow-repopulating hematopoietic stem cells.”

Bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells are able to repopulate the blood and immune system when transplanted into patients prepared for bone marrow transplantation. These cells have important potential therapeutic applications for the restoration of healthy blood and immune systems in individuals undergoing transplantation therapies for cancer, organ grafts, HIV infections, or for acquired or genetic blood and immune deficiencies.

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Forward-Looking Statement:
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain as they are based on current expectations and assumptions concerning future events or future performance of the company. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only predictions and speak only as of the date hereof. Risks and uncertainties applicable to the company and its business could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated in any forward-looking statements.

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