SAN DIEGO CA--(Marketwire - June 29, 2012) - Medistem Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MEDS) announced today notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent covering the use of fat stem cells, and cells associated with fat stem cells for treatment of diseases related to a dysfunctional immune system. Such diseases include multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The allowed patent, entitled "Stem Cell Mediated Treg Activation/Expansion for Therapeutic Immune Modulation" has the earliest priority date of December 2006.
"We have previously published that giving multiple sclerosis patients cells extracted from their own fat tissue, which contains stem cells, appears to confer clinical benefit in a pilot study," said Thomas Ichim, CEO of Medistem. "The current patent that has been allowed, in the broadest interpretation of the claims, gives us exclusive rights to the use of specific types of fat stem cell therapy for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis."
Subsequent to the filing of the patent application, Medistem together with collaborators at the Lawson Health Sciences Research Institute, Canada, reported data that fat tissue contains high numbers of T regulatory cells, a type of immune cell that is capable of controlling autoimmunity.
This finding was independently confirmed by Dr. Diane Mathis' laboratory at Harvard University, who published a paper in the prestigious journal, Nature Medicine, in which detailed experimental evidence was provided supporting the initial finding that adipose tissue contains high numbers of T regulatory cells. A video describing the paper can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEJfGu29Rg8.
The current patent discloses the use of T regulatory cells from fat, combinations with stem cells, and use of fat-derived mononuclear cells. Given that there are currently several groups utilizing this technology in the USA in treating patients, Medistem believes revenue can be generated through enforcement of patent rights.
"Our corporate philosophy has been to remain highly focused on our ongoing clinical stage programs using Medistem's universal donor stem cell, the Endometrial Regenerative Cell (ERC), in the treatment of critical limb ischemia and congestive heart failure," said Dr. Vladimir Bogin, Chairman and President of Medistem. "However, due to the ease of implementation of our fat stem cell technology, combined with the major burden that autoimmune diseases have on our health care system, we are highly incentivized to explore partnering, co-development and licensing opportunities."
Autoimmune conditions occur as a result of the body's immune system "turning on itself" and attacking its own organs or cells. Current treatments for autoimmune conditions are based on "globally" suppressing the immune system by administration of immunosuppressive drugs. This is associated with an increased predisposition to infections and significant side effects. The utilization of stem cells and T regulatory cells offers the potential to selectively suppress pathological immunity while preserving the ability of the body to fight bacteria and viruses. According to the NIH there are approximately 23 million victims of autoimmune conditions.
Links to Documents:
Link to peer-reviewed publication: http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/pdf/1479-5876-7-29.pdf
Link to paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115752/pdf/nihms247044.pdf
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