January 08, 2013 at 09:08 AM EST
NEW STEM CELL BIOBANK PARTNERSHIP TO ACCELERATE DRUG DISCOVERY
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Eric Branstad
Phone:  515.720.1433
Email: Eric.Branstad@jp2sri.org

New Stem Cell Biobank Partnership to Accelerate Drug Discovery

Coralville, IA (MMD Newswire) January 8, 2013 -- Cellular Engineering Technologies Inc. (CET), a stem cell biotech company, and the non-profit John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) announce a partnership to develop a private stem cell biobank. CET, a biomanufacturer of human stem cells, is collaborating with the JP2MRI to create over 5,000 patient and disease-specific stem cell lines and other human cell lines to advance drug discovery, offer personalized medicine, and biomanufacturing. These cell lines are derived from adult sources and do not include embryonic stem cells.

A stem cell biobank will help overcome the greatest obstacle to offering personalized medicine and will accelerate the search for effective treatments. It will do so by enabling drug testing on patient specific stem cells, in contrast to the currently used models involving animal testing and clinical trials that are vastly more expensive and time consuming. The biobank stem cell lines will serve as models to better predict the outcome of drug therapy in patients and dramatically advance research to bring new treatments to market sooner and at less cost. The need to create a stem cell biobank of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, and other critical human cell lines is underscored by some sobering statistics. The annual rate of FDA-approved drugs has declined while the research and development cost has significantly increased. The cost of bringing a drug to market is currently more than one billion dollars and takes over ten years. A new heart drug has a 20 percent chance of succeeding in a clinical trial and a new cancer drug has only an 8 percent chance of succeeding.

CET manufactures a variety of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, cancer cells, and specialized tissue culture media to grow and differentiate stem cells. CET has also introduced its contract manufacturing service to develop IPS cell lines for scientists. IPS cells are unique stem cells that are created by genetically reprogramming a patient's own cell into very primitive pluripotent stem cells that can differentiate into more than 200 specialized cells. Dr. Alan Moy, CEO and Co-Founder of CET said, "The collaboration with the JP2MRI will allow CET to provide scientists with the tools to accelerate drug discovery and advance personalized medicine."

The CET and JP2MRI partnership will eliminate the barriers that typically impact government and academic biobanks because stem cell donations will come directly from patients recruited from private practice doctors and private hospitals. Jay Kamath, CEO of the JP2MRI, commented, "The Institute has launched its Give Cures program that has created a network of doctors in several private clinics and hospitals around the country to recruit patients to procure tissue to create the stem cell lines. The program is currently recruiting patients with genetic diseases, cancer, and disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease so that industry, government, and academia can be more productive in their drug discovery efforts."

Doctors and patients are invited to visit the JP2MRI website (www.jp2mri.org) and sign-up on the Clinical Provider Registry or Patient Registry. Everyone is invited to share the Give Cures flyer (www.givecures.org) so more people will know how they can advance the adult stem cell research mission of JP2MRI.

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About Cellular Engineering Technologies, Inc.

CET is a stem cell biotech company co-founded by Dr. Alan Moy and whose mission is to fundamentally transform patient therapy by making drug discovery and the biomanufacturing process quicker, less expensive, more personalized, innovative, and regenerative through the use of human cells. CET's manufacturing facility is located in Coralville, IA.

About the John Paul II Medical Research Institute.

The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) is a non-profit research institute whose mission is to advance ethical medical research and education with human somatic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. The Institute's goal is to reduce the barriers of translating basic research into clinical research. This is accomplished by coordinating research activities between the Institute, academia, and industry to find treatment solutions for patients that could benefit from adult stem cell therapy. The Institute is located in Iowa City, IA.

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