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

and inexpensively. We are indeed positioned to develop technologies that will have a significant impact on people's lives," said Jeffrey Romoff, president of UPMC.

In addition to UPMC, other key investors are Highmark Health Ventures Investment Fund of Pittsburgh; Fujisawa Investments for Entrepreneurship, LP; and Fujisawa Investments for Entrepreneurship II, LP, of Wilmington, Del.

By partnering with the renowned research teams from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, which has been working with PPL for the past three years, Regenecor plans to leverage PPL's scientific advancements in stem cells, xenotransplantation and immune tolerance technologies with an initial focus on developing treatments for diabetes and pursuing whole organ transplantation using animal organs.

Existing federal funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program will support the production and differentiation of stem cells from non-human primates and livestock species, and a multi-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will allow continued support of the polyclonal antibodies program for biological warfare countermeasures.

It is anticipated that collaborations will be developed in all three technology areas similar in nature to the fruitful one that has existed between PPL and the Starzl Transplantation Institute since April 2000.

Starzl Transplantation Institute researchers first joined forces with PPL's xenotransplantation team following PPL's creation in March 2000 of the world's first cloned pigs. Chief among the Pittsburgh researchers was Chihiro Koike, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery, whose gene sequencing work contributed a key understanding that allowed PPL to move forward and achieve two more significant milestones involving the creation of cloned pigs lacking the gene associated wi

Contact: Lisa Rossi
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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