An ACE in the Hole for Cellular Therapies

Take some cells from a patient, grow them in a laboratory for a few weeks, and then inject them back into the same patient.

Michael Szpir
Sep 25, 2005
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Courtesy of Isolagen

Take some cells from a patient, grow them in a laboratory for a few weeks, and then inject them back into the same patient. That's the basis for autologous cellular therapy, a rapidly developing field that promises to revolutionize the treatment of conditions from cancer to crow's feet.

Growing the cells can be quite labor-intensive, however, because they must be transferred into increasingly larger flasks as they propagate. An Exton, Pa.-based company called Isolagen http://www.isolagen.com, which specializes in autologous cellular therapies for tissue regeneration, hopes to improve this process.

About three years ago, scientists and engineers at Isolagen began working on an automated, "closed-loop" system that reduces the need for human intervention. The result is the automated cellular expansion (ACE) system, unveiled at the UBS 2005 Global Pharmaceuticals Conference in May.

"When you grow cells in a laboratory with the traditional methods, you might have 200...

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