ThermoGenesis Corp. (ThermoGenesis), a California-based company supplying products for processing and storing adult stem cells, has received a grant of about $0.5 million from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The grant is to study and develop biomaterials that can be used to deploy placental stem cells in bone repair and regenerative medicine applications.
The two-year grant is a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Aging. The study will be conducted at the company’s stem cell research laboratory and through collaboration with the University of California, Davis. ThermoGenesis can apply for a Phase II grant once the work under this initial contract is completed.
‘Being awarded this grant is an important milestone for the Company. These funds enable us to conduct exploratory research in animal models to identify the best methods of combining stem cells with biomaterials,’ noted Mel Engle, chief executive officer of ThermoGenesis. ‘We will be using stem cell concentrates prepared by our AXP AutoXpress (AXP), MarrowXpress (MXP) and Res-Q cell separation technologies as well as cells derived from the placenta. The goal of this research is to provide an integrated cell processing and delivery system designed to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect in orthopedic applications, such as bone repair and generation.’ Engle said the company’s research is based upon the growing body of evidence which shows that the efficacy of stem cells for tissue regeneration and repair can be improved if the cells are presented to the body within bioengineered materials.
The AXP is utilized for the processing of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, while the Res-Q is a point-of-care device planned for launch later this month and the MXP are used to prepare cell concentrates from bone marrow. The Res-Q Platform is also being studied for potential use in the preparation of platelet rich plasma (PRP) from peripheral blood.