Dallas, Texas & Germantown, Maryland - August 2, 2012 - BioLife Cell Bank, Inc.
, the leader in cryogenic storage of adipose (fat) tissue and adult mesenchymal stem and regenerative cells, and Intrexon Corporation
, a synthetic biology company that utilizes its proprietary products to provide control over cellular function, announced today the formation of a global exclusive research collaboration. Under the collaboration, BioLife, with its extensive physician network and stem cell experience coupled with Intrexon’s innovative technology, will strive to produce new treatments for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
“With the tremendous potential of this collaboration, we are more than excited for the SMA community,” said John A. Carbona, Chief Executive Officer of BioLife. “Intrexon’s impressive suite of technologies will give researchers access to unprecedented resources including new techniques and processes which could rapidly propel us toward the development of new treatments and products to help treat children with SMA.”
Carbona continued, “I am happy to help realize the dream of our founders, Dr. David G. Genecov and John D. Harkey Jr., to make a positive and sustainable impact in health care. We’re elated by our new collaboration with Intrexon and will undertake immediately the establishment of relationships with the world’s leading scientists in SMA research such as: Dr. Arthur Burghes of Ohio State, Dr. Brian Kaspar of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Charlotte Sumner of Johns Hopkins, Dr. Chris Lorson at the University of Missouri, and Dr. Kathy Swoboda at the University of Utah. BioLife, through its ongoing relationships with Intrexon and these dedicated individuals, hopes for great strides toward lessening the impact of this terrible disease, if not curing it completely—which, of course, is our ultimate goal.”
Thomas D. Reed, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Science Officer of Intrexon, said, “Intrexon's mission is to invent, acquire, and integrate the diverse technology platforms required to modulate cellular behavior through genome re-engineering. We are dedicated to building the molecular toolbox and scientific expertise needed to empower clinicians to treat previously intractable diseases. SMA is a devastating genetic disorder that requires a gene rescue paradigm. Intrexon looks forward to working with BioLife and their growing network of clinical specialists to define, explore, and develop several different cell therapy approaches for treating SMA.”
Under the collaboration, Intrexon, acting through its Human Therapeutics Division, will be applying its technologies to the discovery of autologous, genetically-modified stem cell therapeutics. BioLife will be supplying the collaboration with stem cells and clinical expertise. BioLife also will be responsible for conducting preclinical and clinical development of candidate SMA therapeutic products that may be advanced out of the collaboration, as well as for aspects of manufacturing and regulatory approval.
About Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive genetic disorder characterized by progressive weakness of the lower motor neurons. SMA is caused by a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene which codes SMN, a protein necessary for survival of motor neurons. SMA kills more infants than any other genetic disease in today’s world.
As part of their core business, BioLife Cell Bank, Inc. offers individuals a way to safely store their adipose (fat) tissue and/or their adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells—giving patients and physicians easy, multi-use access to cells and tissue for future cosmetic, reconstructive, and regenerative therapies. Tissue is extracted via liposuction and sent to BioLife in a collection kit (validated to E.T.L. standards). Tissue is processed using proprietary technology and Cytori Therapeutics’ (NASDAQ: CYTX) products. Tissue is cryogenically preserved, and may be stored indefinitely. BioLife is registered with the FDA as a processing bank and complies with FDA regulations and guidance including current Good Tissue Practice (cGTP). BioLife is based in Dallas, Texas, at Forest Park Medical Center. For more information: www.biolifecellbank.com
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the industrial engineering of synthetic biology. Intrexon is deploying its extensive capabilities to rapidly design and produce novel and enhanced biological products and processes across multiple industry sectors, including: human therapeutics, protein production, industrial products, agricultural biotechnology, and animal science. The company's advanced bioindustrial engineering platform enables Better DNA™ technology by combining revolutionary DNA control systems with corresponding advancements in modular transgene design, assembly, and optimization to enable unprecedented control over the function and output of living cells.