Cell processing facility contracted for clinical trials

Wednesday, 16 February, 2005

Australia's adult stem cell company, Mesoblast has signed an agreement for production of specialised adult stem cells, known as Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs), to be used in human pilot clinical trials in patients with orthopaedic and cardiovascular diseases.

The MPCs, which are claimed to efficiently generate new bone, cartilage and blood vessels, will be produced by Cell Therapies, the commercial arm of the Melbourne-based Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, using Mesoblast's technology for isolating and culturing MPCs at up to 1000-fold purer levels than existing and competing technologies.

The founder of Mesoblast, Professor Silviu Itescu, said that the agreement represented an important milestone in Mesoblast's aggressive commericialisation program to develop effective treatments for those people suffering a range of orthopaedic conditions.

"Mesoblast's goal is to greatly improve the quality of life for people suffering from bone, cartilage and joint diseases. This agreement will ensure that we can obtain sufficient quantities of MPCs produced under GMP conditions to perform a series of ground breaking pilot clinical trials in Australia.

Importantly, this agreement enables Mesoblast to conduct human pilot clinical trials on behald of US-based company, Angioblast Systems, in which it holds a 33.3% equity stake.

These additional trials will focus on the use of MPCs for the treatment of patients with cardiac and vascular diseases.

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