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Thread: Image-Guided Neurologics and BresaGen Announce Agreement to Produce And Distribute Proprietary Stem Cell Delivery Device

  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Image-Guided Neurologics and BresaGen Announce Agreement to Produce And Distribute Proprietary Stem Cell Delivery Device

    Device Has Potential to Treat Parkinson's Disease, Other Neurological

    Disorders

    MELBOURNE Fla., and ATHENS, Ga., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ --

    Image-Guided Neurologics (IGN), based in Melbourne, Fla., a medical device company developing access, navigation and delivery products for less invasive neurosurgical techniques, and BresaGen Inc., an Australian biotechnology company with U.S. operations in Athens, Ga., have signed an agreement to produce and distribute a specialized catheter which is intended to be used for delivery of stem cells into the brain. This procedure has the potential to treat neurological diseases, including Parkinson's disease. In the United States, an estimated two million patients suffer from Parkinson's disease.

    Under the terms of the agreement, IGN will develop the proprietary catheter for BresaGen, which has an exclusive license to commercialize the device. BresaGen will test the cell delivery catheter in pre-clinical sponsored research studies at Stanford University, the University of Toronto, the University of Minnesota and the University of Virginia. IGN has rights to negotiate exclusive distribution of the cell delivery catheter once FDA approval has been obtained.

    "This agreement with BresaGen is an excellent opportunity to expand our product line in key medical applications," said Rudy Mazzocchi, IGN President and CEO. "We expect that the cell delivery catheter will eventually be used with IGN's Navigus Trajectory Guide to maximize the benefits to Parkinson's patients who undergo cell therapy. When used together these products can reduce operating time, cut health care costs and eliminate the patient trauma associated with stereotactic head-frame placement."

    BresaGen President and CEO, Dr. John Smeaton, added, "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with IGN, which has an outstanding reputation for producing high-quality medical devices. The license agreement with IGN significantly extends BresaGen's cell delivery development program."

    BresaGen's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Allan Robins, explained: "The cell delivery catheter that IGN is developing will cause minimal damage to brain tissue. The catheter tip is visible under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), allowing cells to be delivered to target locations with greater accuracy than possible with currently used catheters. This catheter has a unique design and specialized biomaterials which minimize shear force stress on cell membranes as the cells are injected through the catheter and may result in a higher fraction of viable stems cells delivered into the brain."

    Studies have demonstrated that Parkinson's disease symptoms can be improved by transplanting dopamine secreting cells into the striatum of the brain, with accurate cell delivery a critical part of the procedure. A proprietary catheter and method for delivering living cells into patients with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's, is a major step toward the commercialization of this treatment. The specific features of the cell delivery device are disclosed in a U.S. patent application that is licensed exclusively to BresaGen by the University of Minnesota.

    This announcement is the latest in a series of recent developments regarding stem cells, which are defined by their ability to grow into many different adult cell types. Several reports presented at the 2001 annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons indicated that stem cell therapy may be effective in the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injury and stroke, as well as for neuro-degenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. President George W. Bush recently announced that the U.S. federal government would fund research on 64 existing stem cell lines. Four of the 64 stem cell lines sanctioned for NIH funded research are owned by BresaGen.

    BresaGen is a biotechnology company committed to the discovery and commercial development of innovative bio-therapies. Drawing on two decades of experience, the company has earned a reputation for excellence in the fields of reproductive and developmental biology and in the manufacture of recombinant protein pharmaceuticals. The Company has offices and laboratories in Adelaide, Australia, and Athens, Georgia, in the United States. More information on BresaGen's products is available at http://www.bresagen.com

    About IGN

    IGN, a privately held company, is a leading innovator in the development of access, navigation and delivery products for less invasive neurosurgical techniques. The company is developing and commercializing products that are designed to expand the applications for frameless sterotaxy and improve the speed with which these procedures can be performed. To learn more about IGN and its products, visit the company's Web site at http://www.igneurologics.com

    This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Company's research strategy, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies and the uncertainties related to the regulatory process.

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  2. #2
    This is good news. Wise.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Are they for the brain only, wise? Safe delivery will end the fear of collateral damage from surgery.

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