9/12/2017-ImStem, UConn Obtain U.S. Patent for Mesenchymal Stem Cell Technology to Treat MS, Other Diseases

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for human embryonic stem cells derived mesenchymal stem cells, called hES-T-MSC or T-MSC, and for their method of production. This newly patented technology was developed by ImStem Biotechnology in collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn) to advance new therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.

The hES-T-MSCs have the potential to treat autoimmune disorders caused in part by increased reactivity of immune T-cells. These stem cells — discovered by Dr. Ren He Xu, former director of UConn Stem Cell Core, and Dr. Xiaofang Wang — are of particular interest for MS.

“Current therapies temporarily treat MS symptoms, but come with severe side effects and high costs – $60K per year,” Wang, ImStem’s chief technology officer, said in a UConn news release. “ImStem’s technology can offer strong immunosuppression and tissue regeneration with no side effects. It is more robust than other adult stem cell therapies.”

In previous studies, this research team demonstrated that using a specific protocol made it possible to produce hES-T-MSC that could successfully treat animal models with MS-like disease.

These cells have a specific characteristic that makes them superior to other stem cell models: the fact they can produce low levels of a pro-inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6). This minimizes potential disease-promoting effects, reducing inflammatory-related adverse events.

In addition, these cells can be modulated to originate mature cells that express specific proteins of interest. Since these cells can cross the blood-brain barrier and the blood-spinal cord barrier, they may also carry therapeutic agents directly to diseased sites.

ImStem is a spinoff of the UConn Stem Cell Core Lab and operates with private capital. It is based at the UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP) in Farmington, Connecticut. The company works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain all the necessary clearances to initiate clinical trials with its hES-T-MSC next year.

“None of this would have been possible without the vision and support of the state of Connecticut and UConn,” said Michael Men, CEO of ImStem. “As a physician and business person, I am naturally pleased to be part of the ImStem team, but without visionary partners like CT Innovations, UConn and Connecticut’s elected officials, the work of our company would not have progressed.”


6/05/2014-ImStem Biotechnology, Inc. Makes Progress on Multiple Sclerosis Treatment with Embryonic Stem Cells

Farmington, Conn. - June 5, 2014. ImStem Biotechnology, Inc.(ImStem) announced today it has successfully treated an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS) using human embryonic stem cells (hESC) derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), called hES-MSCs.

MS is a chronic neuroinflammatory disease with no cure. Most current MS therapies offer only palliative relief without repairing damaged nerve cells. MSCs may reduce neuroinflammation and promote nerve cell regeneration in MS.

Now researchers from ImStem, in collaboration with University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) and Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.(OTCBB:ACTC), have developed a novel therapy to treat MS with hES-MSCs. They found that hES-MSCs are more effective in treating animal model of MS than MSCs from bone marrow of adult human donors (BM-MSC). This work is published in the June 5th 2014 online edition of Stem Cell Reports, the official journal of International Society for Stem Cell Research.

“The beauty of the new hES-MSCs is their consistently high efficacy in MS model. This is a big surprise when we found that most BM-MSC lines show poor or no efficacy. Additionally, BM-MSCs but not hES-MSCs express high level of IL-6, a proinflammatory cytokine can worsen the disease. This definitely adds more advantages to hES-MSCs, which are younger, purer and only express the right factors" says the lead author Dr. Xiaofang Wang, CTO of ImStem.

"These great advantages perfectly match the requirements for safety and quality control of clinical-grade MSCs as a potential therapy for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.” says Dr. Ren-He Xu, the corresponding author, CSO of ImStem and professor of the University of Macau.

Dr. Joel Pachter, a UCHC collaborator, observed fluorescently labeled hES-MSCs but not BM-MSCs effectively penetrated the blood brain barrier and migrated into inflamed spinal cord. He remarks, "This difference is extraordinary as it could hold a key to the therapeutic action(s) of hES-MSCs. MSCs might require access to specific sites within the central nervous system in order to remediate disease."

"This was unexpected as bone marrow MSCs are widely believed to be effective in this EAE animal model. Our data indicate that the use of BM-MSCs is highly variable and there may be a previously unrecognized risk of poor outcome associated with IL-6 produced by these cells," says Dr. Stephen Crocker, another UCHC collaborator.

 

Imstem was founded by Dr. Xiaofang Wang and Dr. Ren-He Xu, former director of UConn Stem Cell Core in 2012. In 2013, ImStem was awarded a $1.13M grant from the State of Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program and a $150,000 pre-seed fund from Connecticut Innovations. With these supports, ImStem has improved the hES-MSC technology with better efficiency and safety and has developed clinical grade hES-MSCs in its cGMP facility. ImStem is now seeking approval for Phase I clinical trials using its hES-MSCs and is looking for investors to fasten the progress. "ImStem, our first spinoff company from the UConn Stem Cell Core, is uncovering the translational potential of hES-MSCs. ImStem’s cutting-edge work demonstrates the success of Connecticut’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine funding program in moving stem cells from bench to bedside." says Dr. Marc Lalande, director of the University of Connecticut Stem Cell Institute.

“Connecticut’s investment in stem cells, especially human embryonic stem cells, continues to position our state as a leader in biomedical research,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “This new study move us one step closer to a stem cell based clinical product which could improve people’s lives.”

ImStem Biotechnology, Inc. is a biotech company developing human embryonic stem cell based therapeutic products for tissue regeneration and autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit:http://www.imstem.com/services.html .

Press and Investor Contact:

Xiaofang Wang, 860-281-7836, admin@imstem.com


10/31/2013 - Pluripotent stem cell expert Hongkui Deng Joins ImStem's Scientific Advisory Board

8/23/2013 - The State's Connecticut Innovations Commits $150,000 to ImStem Biotechnology of Farmington

“ImStem's work is not only important from a public health standpoint, but is part of a wider growing biotech industry that is creating well-paying, high-tech jobs,” said Mike Demicco (D-Farmington).

Connecticut Innovation, the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for growing businesses has committed funding totaling $150,000 through its Pre-Seed Fund to ImStem biotechnology startup venture.

ImStem Biotechnology Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company developing cell therapeutic products derived from human embryonic stem cells for use in tissue repair and treatment of neural, heart, vascular and blood system and autoimmune diseases.


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(From left to right, Dr. Xiaofang Wang, Dr. Hongkui Deng, Dr. Ren-He Xu)

About ImStem Biotechnology, Inc.
ImStem is a biotechnology company developing therapies and stem cell product for tissue repair and autoimmune diseases. For more information about ImStem, visit www.imstem.com.

 

CONTACT:
Investor and Media Relations
860-281-STEM (7836)
admin@imstem.com

 


8/23/2013 - The State's Connecticut Innovations Commits $150,000 to ImStem Biotechnology of Farmington

8/23/2013 - The State's Connecticut Innovations Commits $150,000 to ImStem Biotechnology of Farmington

“ImStem's work is not only important from a public health standpoint, but is part of a wider growing biotech industry that is creating well-paying, high-tech jobs,” said Mike Demicco (D-Farmington).

Connecticut Innovation, the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for growing businesses has committed funding totaling $150,000 through its Pre-Seed Fund to ImStem biotechnology startup venture.

ImStem Biotechnology Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company developing cell therapeutic products derived from human embryonic stem cells for use in tissue repair and treatment of neural, heart, vascular and blood system and autoimmune diseases.

 


6/10/2013 -ImStem won 1.1 million stem cell research grant from State of Connecticut

IImStem won 1.1 million stem cell research grant from State of Connecticut

Nine scientists at the University of Connecticut Health Center received grant awards Monday totaling $4.5 million from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program, making UConn the largest recipient of the $9.8 million total grants awarded this year.

Included in the UConn awards was $1.1 million for ImStem, a company launched from the Health Center stem cell core facility and directed by Dr. Ren-He Xu and Dr. Xiaofang Wang. The goal of ImStem is to explore new approaches to utilizing human embryonic stem cell lines for future clinical applications, such as developing a treatment for multiple sclerosis. ImStem is the second UConn-launched company to be funded by the state's stem cell fund.

2/18/2013 - New Stem Cell Company Opens Lab at UConn Health Center

A new stem cell company, ImStem Biotechnology Inc., is the latest research venture to join the University of Connecticut's Technology Incubation Program (TIP). ImStem will utilize and commercialize the technologies developed by Dr. Ren He Xu, director of the UConn Stem Cell Core, and his post-doc Dr. Xiaofang Wang.

Xu is one of the few scientists in the world who has generated new human embryonic stem cell lines. Named CT1 and CT2, the lines are a major success for the state's $100 million stem cell program. The goal of ImStem is to explore new approaches to utilizing these human embryonic stem cell lines for future clinical applications.

"We are very excited to start this new adventure, which aims to translate our research findings into clinical applications and commercialize our technologies to reward the state funding. We highly appreciate the strong support we have obtained from the state, the University, and our colleagues," says Xu.

The UConn Stem Cell Core was established in 2006 and is currently funded by a Core Facility grant from the State of Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program.

ImStem will utilize lab space at the UConn Health Center's TIP facility at 400 Farmington Ave. in Farmington. Wang will join the company as its chief technology officer.

ImStem is currently operated with financial support by the angel investor and co-founder Dr. Michael Men. Another founder, Dr. Xinghua Pan, is researching stem cell genomics at Yale University.

"I was thrilled by the fascinating opportunity to invest my funds on the promising stem cell technologies developed in Dr. Xu's lab. Their technologies make it possible to develop stem cell products at industrial scales," says Men. "We are confident we will reach our goals in the near future, and patients may benefit from the products sooner than we thought."

"This is an exciting development for Connecticut, given state government's significant investment in stem cell research," says Mary Holz-Clause, UConn's vice president for economic development. "This is the second company started at the University associated with the state stem cell program after Chondrogenics."

According to Marc Lalande, director of the Uconn Stem Cell Institute, embryonic stem cells carry the potential for major advances in treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions. Because embryonic stem cells can become any type of cell, scientists believe they could be used to replace cells damaged by injury or disease, such as neurons that could help Parkinson's patients or pancreatic cells that could allow a diabetic's body to produce insulin.

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