Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BioTime buys Geron's Stem Cell Assets

Biotime Inc., a California based biotechnology company, announced yesterday that it will purchase all human embryonic stem cell assets belonging to Geron. The assets include more than 400 patents and patent applications and most importantly the rights to very first (and only) FDA-approved Phase I human embryonic stem cell clinical trial.

The deal is quite complex but it seems that Geron will be richer by at least $10 millions in cash and shares. The shares  belong to Biotime's. subsidiary company, BioTime Acquisition Corporation (BAC). According to the terms of the transaction Geron will also have financial benefits from any future hESC products Biotime might release. 

Geron, is a stem cell company located in California. It became famous in 2009 when it started the first human clinical trial involving human embryonic stem cells(hESCs). The trial was paused and restarted many times until its final cancellation in November 2011. The company claimed financial reasons for cancelling the trial but promised to release the results of the very few patients that had the chance to enrol and receive the stem cell treatment. The patients enrolled, were victims of debilitating spinal cord injuries. Today, Geron Corporation has two anti-cancer products in human clinical trials.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells

The transaction's press release doesn't specify whether Biotime has any intentions to continue the hESC trial started by Geron or not. Let's hope that Biotime either continues the trial or at least inform us on how the few patients responded to the stem cell treatment.

Video about Geron's embryonic stem cell clinical trial

You can read the full press release here

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