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BioTime’s (NYSE Amex: BTX) OrthoCyte demonstrates Isolating and Expanding Cartilage-Producing Cells from hESC
First demonstration of a scalable source of highly purified and identified progenitor cells capable of making definitive (non-hypertrophic) cartilage
NYSE Amex: BTX) and its wholly owned subsidiary OrthoCyte Corporation reported (Regenerative Medicine journal) a means of manufacturing cartilage from human embryonic stem cells that is suited for industrial scale-up of a product for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Bottom Line: The study reports that the cells are capable of regenerating cartilage with long sought-after identification markers. The study also shows that the cells can be directly expanded on a scale needed for industrial manufacture, which will be necessary in order to make transplantable cells available in commercial quantities. The study documented conditions in which the cells can be propagated on a large scale, conditions in which the cells can be differentiated into cartilage in the laboratory, and evidence that the cells could repair damage to knee joints in rat models. Amex: BTX is down $0.11 or -3.14% to $3.39 and has experienced a progressive sell-off since 3/9/12 when the stock was selling at $5.00. As with many stem cell companies, hedge funds are decimating share pricing; BTX’s short interest has decreased (minimally) but, still 22.8% of the float. Excerpting from Dr. West: “While not ruling out entering the therapeutics race at some point, BTX believes that the greatest rate of return on investment may be in commercializing research products that can be produced and marketed within 1 to 2 years”. The jury is still out as investors’ question who will be the users of these tools in the short and near term?
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