BioTime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTIM) announced today that it has organized a new subsidiary, OrthoCyte Corporation, for the purpose of developing novel therapeutics based on stem cell technology for the treatment of injuries and disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system, including therapeutics that would regenerate bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. BioTime will transfer certain patents and license certain technology to OrthoCyte for use in the field of orthopedic therapies.
Arnold I. Caplan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and General Medical Sciences and director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, will be OrthoCyte’s Chief Scientific Officer as a part-time employee while maintaining his faculty position. Dr. Caplan is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of musculoskeletal and skin development research. Dr. Caplan has authored more than 350 published papers and manuscripts relating to the development, maturation and aging of cartilage, bone, skin, other connective tissues, and mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Caplan previously founded Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., a public company focused on adult mesenchymal stem cell technology.
“I am hugely interested in working to further advance the sophistication of the field of regenerative medicine where it is now possible to parse with greater purity the diverse embryonic progenitors to the musculo-skeletal system,” said Dr. Caplan. “The isolation of precise embryonic progenitors to clinically-important tissues finally opens the door to the development of a wide array of powerful new cell-based therapies and tissue engineering for degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. I look forward to working with BioTime to speed these potential therapeutics toward clinical use.”
“A wide array of novel and potentially valuable therapies have been made possible by the development of human embryonic stem cell technology,” said Michael West, Ph.D., BioTime’s CEO. “The formation of OrthoCyte is another step in BioTime’s long-term strategy to create value for our shareholders by forming subsidiaries focused on specific therapeutic applications of our technology. We previously organized OncoCyte Corporation to develop products for the treatment of cancer, and Embryome Sciences, Inc., to develop and market products for stem cell research purposes. Similarly, our formation of BioTime Asia, Limited, and our acquisition of ES Cell International Pte Ltd offer the possibility of accelerating the commercialization of diverse therapeutic and research applications of stem cells in the People’s Republic of China and other countries in Asia. Dr. Caplan is a true luminary in stem cell-based therapies for orthopedic disorders. With his involvement, we plan to institute an aggressive collaborative program of product development.”