The agreement is a critical part of BioTime's strategy to leverage third party funding
BioTime has announced a non-exclusive license agreement between BioTime's subsidiary ES Cell International (ESI) and Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope through which ESI's clinical-grade human embryonic stem (hES) cells will be manufactured and provided to BRICOH's clinical collaborators, including medical research organizations intent on using the hES cells to develop and commercialize therapeutic products to treat human disease.
The agreement is a critical part of BioTime's strategy to leverage third party funding and generate future revenues by placing its hES cells in programs developing a wide array of therapeutic applications made possible with pluripotent stem cell technology, products that are currently not being developed by BioTime or its subsidiaries. Successful medical research organizations will need to obtain separate licenses from BioTime in order to advance their products based on ESI's hES cells into clinical trials and commercialization. These licenses may entitle BioTime to receive additional revenues such as milestone payments related to the attainment of clinical trial and commercial milestones and royalties on product sales. BioTime and BioTime subsidiaries will retain the rights to manufacture their own stem cell-based products as well as to license rights to other third parties.
ESI, established in 2000 in Singapore, is distinguished as being the first company to derive and manufacture clinical-grade hES cell lines under strict regulatory standards, commonly known as current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). These cell lines have been used by a number of researchers over the last seven years. ESI provides its hES cells as both inexpensive research-grade cells through its ESI BIO division and as cGMP-compliant clinical grade cells for translation into clinical applications, allowing researchers to conduct research with hES cells that can also be used in the clinic.
BRICOH has established clinical cell manufacturing facilities to produce clinical grade banks of cGMP grade hES stem cells for its affiliates and collaborators, including academic and other medical research institutions or companies engaged in research and development into cell replacement therapies for the treatment of diseases addressed by the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
According to Mr Jeffrey Janus, ESI's CEO and BioTime's VP of Sales and Marketing, "BioTime and ES Cell International take pride in providing ease of access to the highest quality clinical grade human embryonic stem cells to address human disease. Our partnership with BRICOH will further this goal by facilitating the availability of our cells to a wide spectrum of companies and research institutions working to develop many types of therapies. We look forward to working with BRICOH and their collaborators to further this effort."