LifeMap Sciences, Inc., a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX), announced today the release of LifeMap Discovery TM version 1.1 ( discovery.lifemapsc.com ). LifeMap Discovery TM is a key component in LifeMap’s integrated database suite, a discovery platform for biomedical and stem cell research, which also includes GeneCards ® , the leading human gene database, and MalaCards, the human disease database. LifeMap Discovery TM version 1.1 includes significant enhancements of content related to disease targets for stem cell therapy, cells involved in various diseases (such as Parkinson’s disease and age related macular degeneration), and a large number of newly added genes relevant to developmental and stem cell biology.
According to Google Analytics, the integrated database suite had more than 13,000,000 page views and more than 2,000,000 unique visitors in the past 12 months. LifeMap clients and partners include dozens of large, fee-paying pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as leading government patent offices, and its products are used free of charge by scientists at more than a thousand academic institutions worldwide. The integrated database suite also provides a technological foundation for the potential development of additional LifeMap databases and services that will leverage significant and growing web traffic. Moreover, the platform drives life scientists to the LifeMap BioReagents™ portal, which offers cutting-edge stem cell reagents. LifeMap Discovery™ itself is rapidly becoming utilized by researchers and has already reached an audience of 10,000 unique visitors since its launch in November 2012 according to Google Analytics, demonstrating the power of integration between the databases to drive rapid user-base growth across various components of the integrated database suite.
LifeMap Discovery™ is a state-of-the-art roadmap of embryonic development and stem cell biology. The platform integrates embryonic development and stem cell biology with molecular, cellular, anatomical, and disease-related information, and provides data-mining capabilities and bioinformatics applications. LifeMap Discovery™ is a unique and powerful tool for research and discovery in multiple disciplines, including stem cell biology, developmental biology and disease mechanisms and etiology. The platform is not only valuable for clinical applications involving stem differentiation and therapies, it will continue to be a key to future product development.
LifeMap Discovery TM is also a key component of LifeMap’s recently announced therapeutic discovery collaboration with BioTime. The collaboration utilizes two approaches for identifying stem cell-based therapeutic candidates based on selected PureStem™ cell lines that are most likely to be useful in developing cell-based regenerative medicine therapies. The first approach is targeting selected diseases with large unmet medical needs for which clear and relatively fast regulatory paths exist. The second approach is screening for PureStem™ cell lines that are suitable for developing therapies for a wide range of diseases to be followed with selecting the most commercially attractive product candidates. By combining the two approaches the companies expect the collaboration to generate a robust pipeline of high value product candidates. The two companies will share revenues resulting from commercialization of successful product candidates that are discovered via the collaboration and have already filed for patent protection on inventions jointly made by the teams with an expectation to greatly accelerate the pace of discovery of potential cures for the deadly degenerative diseases of aging.LifeMap Discovery TM version 1.1 new features and information include the following:
- Newly mapped developmental paths, added to the previous existing coverage of neural crest, motor neurons, blood, endothelium, bone, cartilage, adipose, skeletal and smooth muscle, heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas:
- Early development of intraembryonic tissues; from zygote through epiblast and up to the three germ layers, as well as extraembryonic tissues including; placenta, yolk sac, chorion and amnion
- Development of retinal lineages including; photoreceptors, amacrine cells, bipolar cells, horizontal, ganglion and Müller-glial cells
- Early brain development including neural ectoderm and neural tube, as well as the first mapped brain lineage of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which are involved in Parkinson’s disease
- Development of brain barriers including the choroid plexus, meninges, and endothelial cells related to blood-brain barriers
- Reproductive system development including ovary, testis, and germ cells (male and female gametocytes)
- Tendon and ligament development
- Stem cell differentiation into the above mentioned fates:
- Differentiation into early embryonic tissues mainly to the three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm) and to early developed organs such as the paraxial mesoderm, gut tube, and somites
- Differentiation protocols related to neural crest, neuronal progenitors, motor and dopaminergic neurons, and neurons of the peripheral nervous system
- Differentiation into blood cells and endothelium, adipose tissue, bone and cartilage, heart cells, eye photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium cells, skeletal and smooth muscle cells, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, and thyroid cells