Exemplar Genetics and Mayo Clinic Launch Joint Venture Focused on Development of Human Liver Cells to Advance Medical Research
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, /PRNewswire/ -- Exemplar Genetics a subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ: XON) and market leader in the development of genetically engineered miniswine as models of human disease, and Mayo Clinic have launched a joint venture focused on the development of a high quality source of human liver cells or hepatocytes (HHCs). The new company, Cytotheryx, headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, will leverage the expertise and experience of Exemplar Genetics with the capabilities of Mayo Clinic's researchers to deliver this much-needed resource.
Human hepatocytes are necessary for drug toxicology studies, hepatitis virus research and gene therapy testing. Further, there are opportunities to utilize cells in liver assist devices and allotransplantation to treat acute liver failure. HHCs do not grow in culture and are derived primarily from human cadaver donors, which cannot provide the quality and volume essential to meet the various demands for these cells.
"Throughout the United States and the world there is a desperate need for a high quality source of HHCs for medical research and regenerative medicine applications," commented Dr. John R. Swart, President of Exemplar Genetics. "Cytotheryx has brought together the team and technology to deliver on that need."
Cytotheryx, utilizing technology developed at Mayo Clinic and the expertise of Exemplar Genetics, will provide a consistent source of high quality hepatocytes to address patient needs and market shortcomings. The market opportunity for HHCs utilized for research is estimated to be $250 million annually and is in excess of $1 billion for FDA approved applications.
"Together these capabilities will enable Cytotheryx to not only address the current research requirements, but also develop applications for treatment of severe liver diseases, either independently or collaboratively," said Joseph Lillegard, M.D., co-inventor of the technology.
"This collaboration combines our focus on unmet needs of patients with an innovative way to drive development of new therapies," added Andrew Danielsen, Vice-Chair of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic.
Exemplar Genetics will be a significant shareholder in Cytotheryx and will provide business and technical resources for the company. Mayo Clinic and Dr. Joseph Lillegard have financial interest in the technology referenced in this press release. Mayo Clinic will use any revenue it receives to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and research.
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Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:XON