Vitro Diagnostics Forms Strategic Alliance With a Leading Stem Cell Company HemoGenix Inc.
Published: Apr 28, 2010
GOLDEN, CO--(Marketwire - April 28, 2010) - Vitro Diagnostics, Inc. (OTCBB: VODG), dba Vitro Biopharma, announced that it signed a contract to jointly manufacture and distribute stem cell analysis tools with HemoGenix®, Inc., a leading firm known for its pioneering analysis of stem cells. HemoGenix® owns patented and patent-pending technology for analysis of stem cells known as the HALO® assay platform which is based on advanced measurement of ATP cellular content. HALO® assays are now industry standard methods for quality and potency determination of hematopoietic stem cells and also allow sophisticated analysis of toxic effects of drugs and new drug candidates including cancer chemotherapeutic agents. The agreement with Vitro will allow expansion of assay platforms from HemoGenix®, in particular, LUMENESC for mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and LumiSTEM for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). IPS technology allows the use of reprogrammed adult cells to achieve properties of embryonic stem cells including the ability to differentiate into any type of cell in the body without use or sacrifice of embryos and as a consequence, any of the ethical or religious issues involved with the use of embryonic stem cells.
The agreement between Vitro and HemoGenix® provides benefits to each partner including a supply contract for Vitro's MSC and optimized growth media and thus enhanced sales for Vitro together with a profit sharing from sales of all new products. HemoGenix® gains an expanded market for its products that are gaining clinical relevance in treatment of numerous conditions beyond those of the hematopoietic stem cell system, e.g., treatment of degenerative diseases such as arthritis and potential applications of iPS technology to numerous conditions including Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease, along with numerous other diseases.
Dr. Ivan Rich, CEO of HemoGenix®, Inc. said, "We are very pleased with the collaboration with Vitro to expand our product line and very much look forward to moving forward together to target expanded markets in analysis of the total spectrum of stem cell products including iPS cells. We have developed a regulatory-compliant method for stem cell analysis and look forward to establishing our method as the gold standard for new therapies based on advances in stem cell technology."
About HemoGenix, Inc.
HemoGenix®, (http://www.hemogenix.com/), a privately held biotechnology firm now located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was founded in 2000 by Ivan N. Rich, PhD, an internationally recognized researcher in the field of developmental, experimental and applied clinical hematology. HemoGenix® was formed as a Contract Research Service Laboratory for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry as the only company in the world primarily specializing in stem cell hemotoxicity testing. Initially, this was performed using the colony-forming assay. However, it was soon realized that this assay had many disadvantages including variable results resulting in a lack of quantization. With the help of a Phase I SBIR grant awarded from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in October 2001, HemoGenix® began developing what is now the HALO® Assay Platform. In 2002, The HALO® Platform was launched as a contract service and the award of a Phase II SBIR grant from the NCI in 2003 allowed HemoGenix® to begin the necessary validation of the HALO® Platform.
In late 2003, HemoGenix® relocated from Columbia, South Carolina to Colorado Springs, Colorado in order to expand the company, begin the HALO® validation procedure and to initiate production of the HALO® Assay Kit Platform.
The HALO® Research Kit Platform was launched at the American Society of Hematology in December 2003. At the Society of Toxicology meeting in 2004, the first HALO® Hemotoxicity Kits and the OxyFLOW™ Platform were introduced. In December 2004, at the American Society of Hematology, the HALO® Stem and Progenitor Cell-Quality Control (SPC-QC) Kits and the LUMENESC™ Kit Platform to detect Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) were introduced. In March 2005, the HALO® Predictive Hemotoxicity Platform was unveiled at the Society of Toxicology. Following this, HemoGenix®, launched the LumiSTEM™ Platform and introduced the concept of "In Vitro Cross-Platform Comparative Toxicity" that was based on the ability of both LUMENESC™ and LumiSTEM™ to utilize a 384-well plate format that was an important advance to the HALO® Platform. This was introduced as the HALO®-96 SEC and HALO®-384 HT both of which allow fully automated and high-throughput capability to detect and measure the response of hematopoietic stem cells. Since relocating to Colorado Springs, HemoGenix®, Inc has increased its Assay Kit Catalog to over 1,000 different items. It produces and sells HALO®, LUMENESC™, LumiSTEM™ and OxyFLOW™ Kits all over the world to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.
About Vitro Diagnostics, Inc.
Vitro Diagnostics, Inc. dba Vitro Biopharma (OTCBB: VODG) (http://www.vitrobiopharma.com), owns US patents for production of a fertility drug, immortalization of pituitary cells, and a cell line that produces beta islets for use in treatment of diabetes. Vitro's mission is "Harnessing the Power of Cells™" for the advancement of regenerative medicine to its full potential. Vitro also owns pending US patents for stem cell therapy of cancer, generation of pluripotent stem cells and is continuously developing patentable cell lines and technologies. Vitro operates within a new high tech and regulatory compliant manufacturing, R&D and corporate facility in Golden, Colorado. Vitro manufactures and sells "Tools for Stem Cell and Drug Development™," including human mesenchymal stem cells and derivatives, optimized media for sustained self-renewal, lineage-specific differentiation and products supporting induced pluripotent stem cell and cancer research.
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Dr. James Musick
Chief Executive Officer
Vitro Diagnostics, Inc.