Irvine-based California Stem Cell Inc. (CSC) has acquired a cancer stem cell therapy program from Hoag Hospital. The program, aimed at fighting metastatic melanoma, was developed at Hoag, which developed the methodology and clinical approach to the treatment over 20 years of research. Hoag selected CSC to take over the project and further explore this technology, based on CSC’s history and reputation in the laboratory cell science community.
The new treatment targets malignant melanoma by immunizing patients against antigens by exposing the patient’s own blood cells to their own cancer cells, which have been exposed to radiation. A random Phase II trial conducted at Hoag showed a noteworthy increase in survival rate and cancer recurrence time, indicating favorable prospects for effective treatments for melanoma and other cancers.
“CSC is very excited to be moving into the cancer space and active Phase II clinical trials with acquisition of this program,” said CSC’s chief operating officer Chris Airriess. “Hoag’s decision to transition the program to CSC to advance this treatment through late clinical development shows great stewardship and we will continue to develop this program as a high priority.”
Management transferred entirely from Hoag to CSC this month, and as a result of its adoption of the new program, CSC plans to expand its Irvine office and GMP manufacturing facility, adding new laboratory space and eventually hiring 7 to 10 more employees. CSC will also explore commercialization of the new technology, which has been in place at CSC’s Irvine laboratory since Oct. 1.
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