Both Biotime Inc. (BTIM) and International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO.OB) have licensed extensive patent rights from Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC.PK), all in the stem cell research and stem cell therapy arenas. Both continue to move toward product development while adding intellectual property to that licensed from ACTC, making the combined intellectual property of the three entities easier to evaluate than that of the individual companies.
Advanced Cell Technology, motivated by the need for operating capital, licensed most of its rather broad stem cell intellectual property -- mostly developed by Dr. Robert Lanza -- to ISCO and BTIM over a period of years. Then, about a year ago, ACTC took the next step which was to find a joint venture partner, a South Korean Company. ACTC contributed its remaining intellectual property to the joint venture, all except that pertaining to stem cell research for eye diseases. The company has recently filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a Phase I/II multicenter study using embryonic stem cell derived retinal cells to treat patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. Advanced Cell Technology's market capitalization is approximately $75 million.
Both Biotime and International Stem Cell follow a business model that calls for the sale of cell culture products to researchers in the stem cell research arena in order to promote the development of proprietary stem cell treatments.
Dr. Michael West, CEO of Biotime, is one of the early rock stars of stem cell research. He has not only been around a long time (a founder of Geron and a former CEO of Advanced Cell Technology), he is one of a small group in the field that can increase the market value of his company -- if only momentarily -- by giving a speech at a conference. He has managed to accomplish several things for Biotime this year. These things have little to do with product development but have a lot to do with the business structure of Biotime as it sets itself up for the development of anticipated stem cell therapies. This business structuring has also had a lot to do with the market capitalization of Biotime Inc., particularly the actuality and future possibility of raising capital directly in the subsidiaries. Since September 30th of this year Biotime's market capitalization has increased by $30 million or roughly 30%.
This is what has increased Biotime's market capitalization: