Blood line = life line?

Will findings by Worcester, MA-based Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) on large-scale blood production from stem cells help the company pull in some much-needed capital?

By | August 20, 2008

Will findings by Worcester, MA-based Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) on large-scale blood production from stem cells help the company pull in some much-needed capital? By now you've likely seen reports on a linkurl:paper;http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/abstract/blood-2008-05-157198v1 appearing today in Blood in which researchers differentiated human embryonic stem cells into oxygen-carrying blood cells, in large quantity. The results suggest it may be possible to create mass quantities of blood for transfusions and blood banks. It's a promising advance in applying embryonic stem cell technology, but what's also interesting about this study is its timing. Just linkurl:last month;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54884/ ACT stated in a Security and Exchange Commission filing that the biotech did not have funds to stay open through the end of the month. All the press "might help a little" in attracting some new investment to the company, Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at ACT and senior author on the recent paper, told The Scientist in an Email. "But most potential investors already know what we're doing." Lanza added that the company has several papers in the pipeline. Last week, the Worcester Business Journal linkurl:reported;http://www.wbjournal.com/news41387.html that ACT had licensed some of its embryonic stem cell technology and 140 stem cell lines to Embryome, a subsidiary of BioTime Inc. The upfront payment was $250,000, with the paper reporting that ACT could stand to make $1.25 million from the deal. But Lanza told the linkurl:Boston Globe;http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2008/08/20/stem_cells_may_bring_bottomless_blood_bank/ today that the company is still scrambling for funds, "raising small amounts of money and working on larger deals."

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