Both Biotime Inc. (BTIM.OB) and Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC.PK) are included in Stem Cell Digest's Sector Companies. On July 18, we posted concerning Advanced Cell Technology's filing of a 10K that warned the company may not have sufficient cash to operate after July 31st.
On July 16, Advanced Cell Technology agreed to grant Embryome Sciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Biotime Inc., an exclusive liscense to use "ACTCellerate." Today, the same announcement was repeated, but with one apparent difference: This time Embryome Sciences has agreed to an up front payment of $250,000. Presumably the deal change came as a band aid for Advanced Cell's cash squeeze.
Here is today's announcement: "Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC.PK) announced today that it has granted an exclusive license to Embryome Sciences, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., to use “ACTCellerate™” embryonic stem cell technology and a bank of over 140 diverse progenitor cell lines derived using that technology. Under the agreement, ACT received an upfront payment of $250,000, and is eligible to receive an 8% royalty on sales of products, services, and processes that utilize the licensed technology. Once a total of $1,000,000 of royalties has been paid, no further royalties will be due. ACT has an option to reacquire rights to use the ACTCellerate technology for the development of certain types of stem cells for human therapeutic use in fields related to its core business."
The release went on to explain that ACTCellerate™ is a recently discovered technology that allows the rapid isolation of highly purified embryonic progenitor cells. Embryonic progenitors are cells intermediate between embryonic stem cells and fully differentiated cells. The progenitor cells are relatively easy to manufacture on a large scale and in a purified state, which may make it advantageous to work with these cells compared to the direct use of embryonic stem cells. Using the ACTCellerate platform technology over 140 distinguishable novel progenitor cell lines have already been created, scaled-up, and banked. According to the release, these cell lines may possess the ability to become a wide array of products never before available to the medical community, with potential applications in research, drug discovery, and human regenerative stem cell therapy.
“There is a large and growing market in supplying basic research tools to scientists funded by the $3 billion California stem cell initiative as well as scientists entering the field world wide, and our long-term plan is to be the first profitable company in the stem cell sector,” said Michael D. West, Ph.D., CEO of BioTime and Embryome Sciences. “We are already offering our first research products through our website Embryome.com, where researchers can also access our stem cell database."
Michael West, founder of Geron Corp., is now CEO of Biotime Inc. He is also Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was Chairman of the Board, Chief Scientific Officer, and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology Corporation.
Adapted from the Advanced Cell Technology and Biotime Inc. announcement.