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12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 04, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Pfizer's MultiStem play

In choosing to add an adult stem cell therapy from Athersys Inc. to its regenerative medicines business, Pfizer Inc. went not with the most advanced indication as might have been expected, but the least advanced: inflammatory bowel disease.

The pharma says IBD is easier to study than the cardiovascular, transplant and neurology indications in which the biotech's MultiStem technology is more advanced.

MultiStem consists of allogeneic multipotent adult progenitor cells obtained from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors. Athersys Chairman and CEO Gil Van Bokkelen said MultiStem cells home to sites of tissue damage and injury and respond to conditions in the local environment by releasing therapeutic factors.

"The cells dynamically respond as necessary based on the type of injury they encounter," Van Bokkelen told BioCentury.

At sites of damage, MultiStem is designed to fine-tune the immune response by regulating activated T cells and macrophages. The company also has animal data showing MultiStem can reduce inflammation and release neurotrophic factors and angiogenic factors. The intended result is protection of damaged or injured...

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