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Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center leads group buying PPL'S cloning, stem cell business

PITTSBURGH, April 8 The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and other investors have formed Regenecor Holdings, Inc., a privately held Delaware corporation, to acquire PPL Therapeutics, Inc., of Blacksburg, Va., a wholly owned subsidiary of PPL Therapeutics Plc of Scotland.

PPL is considered one of the world's leading companies in the application of transgenic technology for the production of human proteins for therapeutic applications.

In the deal made final today, PPL transfers all of its regenerative medicine business assets and associated intellectual property and patent applications to Regenecor. PPL has retained a minority equity position in the new company.

PPL's regenerative medicine business sold to Regenecor includes research and development programs in three core technology areas: xenotransplantation (cross-species transplantation), the most advanced of the three, which aims to address the critical shortage of human organs for transplantation by making use of organs and tissues from cloned pigs; stem cell technologies focused on production of therapeutic cell lines for possible treatments for diabetes and neurological diseases; and infectious disease platform technologies, making use of human polyclonal antibodies in genetically modified livestock that may yield vaccines against biowarfare agents such as anthrax and smallpox as well as infectious viruses like HIV and hepatitis.

"This is a natural investment opportunity for UPMC. In taking the lead to form Regenecor, not only are we are taking to the next level a productive scientific collaboration that has existedbetween the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and PPL, but we have an opportunity to bring together some of the greatest minds in regenerative medicine as well. We believe that through Regenecor's business infrastructure we can make important scientific strides, with each stage of development being made efficiently
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Contact: Lisa Rossi
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
9-Apr-2003


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