Jun 16 2008
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company using leading-edge embryonic stem cell (ES Cell) technologies for predictive toxicology and drug discovery, has announced new broad composition of matter patent protection for its ES Cell-derived pluripotent precursor cells. VistaGen has exclusive rights for commercial use in its ES Cell-based tools platform for drug discovery and development.
The newly issued U.S. patent (#7,374,934) is titled "Cell Population and Methods of Production Thereof." Specifically, it covers broad composition of matter claims and protects ES Cell-derived isolated immature pluripotent precursors of all the cells of the mesoderm and endoderm lineages, which include heart, liver, pancreas, blood, connective tissues, vascular system, gut and lung cells.
Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, VistaGen's President and CEO, said, "These isolated precursors are in fact the basis of VistaGen's efficient and scalable processes that enable the production of pharmaceutical-scale discovery and predictive toxicity assays. This new patent gives us strong protection for commercial applications of the ES Cell tools and assays that VistaGen has developed over time."
He added, "These patent claims are key for the in vitro applications of the drug discovery and screening tools that are central to our business, plus they should have significant potential value for the development and ex-vivo expansion of cells for cell therapy companies."
VistaGen scientists have worked extensively with Dr. Gordon Keller, previously affiliated with patent holder, National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, to develop and perfect the commercial applications of this novel ES Cell-derived method, which produces clinically relevant differentiated cells in quantity and purity suitable for drug development applications. Dr. Keller, a long-term collaborator and advisor to VistaGen on key stem cell research projects, now serves as director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto's University Health Network.