SyStemix reaches the clinic

For years, companies developing rival technologies for stem cell separation and concentration have made competing claims about the relative virtues of their devices. Until now, only CellPro Inc. has been in a position to provide clinical data on its process. But the initiation of clinical trials of hematopoietic stem cells isolated using SyStemix Inc.'s high speed cell sorter should begin to provide data that will allow observers to assess the clinical relevance of differences between the two companies' systems.

STMX's transplants are 90 percent pure hematopoietic stem cells composed of a very early population of self-renewing, pluripotent stem cells able to differentiate into all cells necessary for the blood and immune systems to function, according to the Palo Alto company. The cells are defined as CD34+Thy+Lin- by the presence of cell surface markers CD34 and Thy-1, which are lost as a cell develops into a mature blood cell, and by the absence of other surface markers found on mature, lineage-committed (Lin-) cells.