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BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX), a biotechnology company that develops and markets products in the field of regenerative medicine, announced the signing of an exclusive sublicense agreement and a supply agreement with Jade Therapeutics, LLC, a developer of an ophthalmological therapeutic sustained-release drug delivery platform.
Under the agreements, BioTime will provide Jade with clinical-grade HyStem hydrogels and certain patented technology for use by Jade Therapeutics in the development of new pharmaceutical products for ophthalmologic use. Jade plans to utilize the hydrogels to facilitate time-release topical delivery of recombinant human growth hormone to help heal lesions on the ocular surface. Jade Therapeutics will retain rights to market their product upon completion of development and obtaining marketing approval. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
William P. Tew, Ph.D., BioTime’s chief commercialization officer, stated that “Numerous published scientific reports have established the efficacy of HyStem to facilitate cell transplantation in animal models, and we currently plan on a near-term approval to market one HyStem-related product, Renevia, in the EU for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. We believe our HyStem technology may also be useful as a device for the slow, timed release of therapeutic agents such as those being developed by Jade Therapeutics, as well as for the controlled release of proteins secreted from BioTime’s stem cell lines.”
“The HyStem product line has potential utility in a wide array of human therapeutic products,” said Michael West, Ph.D., BioTime’s CEO. “We intend to seek additional industry partners for applications that are not core to our own therapeutic product development.”
BioTime's HyStem hydrogels are proprietary biocompatible hydrogels that mimic the human extracellular matrix (ECM), a web of molecules surrounding cells that is essential to cellular function. When cells lacking the ECM (or an ECM substitute) are introduced into the body, they typically die or fail to function correctly after transplantation. BioTime's HyStem hydrogels are currently being used by researchers at a number of leading medical schools in studies of stem cell therapies for facilitating wound healing and for the treatment of ischemic stroke, brain cancer, vocal fold scarring, and cardiac infarct.