Cephalon Blasts into CV

Cephalon enters cardiovascular space with Mesoblast stem cell deal

Cephalon Inc. continued its expansion into specialty disease areas last week via a partnership with Mesoblast Ltd. that marks Cephalon's first foray into the cardiovascular space.

Cephalon received worldwide rights to Mesoblast's adult Mesenchymal Precursor Stem Cell (MPC) technology in three treatment areas: neurodegenerative disease; augmenting hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in cancer patients; and cardiovascular disease.

Mesoblast's technology can isolate and expand adult MPCs from a variety of sources, such as bone marrow and cord blood.

The first two treatment areas fit Cephalon's current business. The company's main focus was pain and CNS until 2005, when it entered the cancer space through product and company acquisitions. Once the cancer business became cash positive, Cephalon started building an inflammatory disease franchise the same way (see BioCentury, Jan. 19, 2009).

While this is Cephalon's first foray into regenerative medicine, COO

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