BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX) today announced changes to the organization and management of its research products business. The research products business will be consolidated into a new ESI BIO Division which shall be BioTime’s primary developer, manufacturer and distributor for its growing portfolio of stem-cell-based research products. Jeffrey Janus, BioTime’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will lead ESI BIO and has also been appointed as the CEO of BioTime’s Singapore-based subsidiary ES Cell International Pte Ltd. (“ESI Singapore”) which will be a part of the ESI BIO Division. Mr. Janus has over 30 years of experience in the cell-based biotechnology industry, serving in various executive and board level positions.
ESI BIO will manufacture and market the ESI human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines developed by ESI Singapore, PureStem™ human embryonic progenitors, HyStem ® hyaluronan-based hydrogels, and kits for stem cell differentiation and reprogramming. ESI BIO also plans to develop additional new PureStem™ human embryonic progenitors and HyStem ® products, and will work with BioTime’s LifeMap Sciences, Inc. subsidiary to develop and market a new database product. LifeMap Sciences will continue to use its BioReagents website to market BioTime’s PureStem™ progenitor cells and reagents and the ESI hES cell lines, as well as any new research products developed or acquired by the ESI BIO Division. However, ESI BIO will take on a larger role in managing the LifeMap BioReagents website. These research products will be designed to assist researchers in their goals of translating their discoveries to the clinic, thus facilitating the regulatory pathway for ESI BIO’s customers in their path from research to clinical trials.
ESI Singapore created the world’s first “clinical grade” hES cell lines under conditions designed to be compliant with principles of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), making them suitable for use in clinical research and regenerative medicine. BioTime acquired ESI Singapore in May 2010 and has since made ESI Singapore’s clinical and research grade hES cells available to scientists worldwide. ESI Singapore plans to provide existing PureStem™ embryonic progenitor cells along with its clinical-grade hES cells to researchers in the Pacific Rim nations. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCz238w4ss).
“Cell-based discoveries with the potential to cure human diseases must ultimately be acceptable to regulatory agencies. We plan to continue to expand ESI BIO’s historic role in providing products giving scientists the highest chance that their research results will be translatable to the clinic,” said Mr. Janus. “ESI BIO’s human embryonic stem cell lines and its HyStem ® hydrogels are available either as economic research grade products or as clinical grade products. Its novel PureStem™ clonally pure embryonic progenitors form potentially therapeutic tissues not formed by adult stem cells. These products illustrate ESI BIO’s growing platform of state of-the-art products that are pure, precisely identified, and give a high level of assurance that cell-based discoveries will be clinically compliant.”BioTime's CEO Dr. Michael West stated, “By providing ESI BIO’s products to the research community, we not only have the opportunity to generate near-term revenues, but we also allow academic researchers to perform research on the manifold uses of the cells with federal and state funding. The goal is to establish our research products as industry standards for a wide array of medical research.”