6th June 2011
Ilika plc is pleased to announce the involvement of Altrika Ltd, its wholly owned subsidiary, in the Oristem® stem cell bank, a significant new medical breakthrough involving the collection and storage of stem cells from adults.
The Oristem® service has been developed through a partnership between Altrika, Pharmacells Limited and Vindon Scientific Limited. Pharmacells has licensed a new, patented method of harvesting, isolating and storing stem cells derived from adult blood. Vindon is a recognised leader in temperature and humidity controlled storage and its state of the art storage facility for human tissue and cells will aid both Altrika and Oristem® in this new and exciting field.
Altrika is a cell therapeutics company specialising in the fields of wound treatment and skin regeneration. As one of the few commercial organisations with experience of both cell processing and advanced therapies, Altrika’s involvement in this key step of the Oristem programme will ensure that the samples received from clients are handled with the greater care and processed to the level required for future use in treatment.
Previous forms of stem cell extraction had been confined to neo-natal stem cells taken from umbilical cords and immediately stored, or more invasive sources such as fat tissue or bone marrow. The concept of stem cells from adult blood is very new and represents an important development in the possible treatment of illnesses that adults may contract in the future.
The Oristem® product offers a customised stem cell collection system that enables adults to be visited at home for blood samples to be taken. A bespoke, temperature controlled collection kit is used and the blood samples are processed using the patented method, ultimately ending up with the frozen storage of two samples of multipotent adult stem cells . If a new stem cell based treatment for a particular disease has been developed, the client will have healthy, younger cells available to form the basis of a personalised, regenerative therapy or treatment. It thus represents a form of medical investment on the part of individuals wishing to maximise their chances of recovery from future illnesses.
Stem cells are being used in many scientific projects around the world and research is being performed into a wide variety of diseases and conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, various cancers and infectious diseases through to repair of corneal damage and soft skin, cartilage and tissues. Several stem cell based products are already in the market, with several more at clinical trial stage and expected to be available soon.
Graeme Purdy, CEO of Altrika, says:
“We are very pleased to be working with Pharmacells and Vindon to deliver the Oristem® service to the UK market. We are strongly committed to the fields of regenerative medicine and cell therapy and to be able to offer the benefits of this exciting field to a much wider range of people will help to expand its availability, and ultimately improve health.”
About Altrika Ltd.: Altrika Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ilika plc, a global leader in high throughput materials discovery. The Company was founded in December 2008 to focus on the development and exploitation of novel materials in the biomedical sector. Altrika works with leading medtech companies to identify novel materials for specific applications, as well as developing solutions in-house for the next generation of medical products. Altrika runs a GMP manufacturing facility in Sheffield, UK, licensed by both the UK Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to supply its Cryoskin® and Myskin® services on a named patient basis exclusively at the request of, and under the responsibility of, the treating clinician.
About Vindon Healthcare plc
Vindon Healthcare plc is a premier provider of secure temperature and humidity controlled equipment and services in the UK, Europe and the USA. The Vindon Cryobank is its secure storage facility with real time tracking of stored samples, licensed by the Human Tissue authority for the storage of tissues and/or cells intended for human application. Vindon’s purpose built bio-repository provides long term, medium and short term storage for biological samples, stem cells, cord stem cells, DNA and bone marrow, at temperatures down to -1970C
The increasing demand for long term storage of biopharmaceuticals has led Vindon to expand its ultra-low temperature storage capability to meet the growing demands of manufacturers and research organisations. Vindon’s high-tech storage suite can accommodate more than 20,000 cubic metres of samples in controlled environment rooms and cabinets, at a range of temperatures from -80ºC to 60ºC at ICH and bespoke temperature and humidity controlled conditions.
Vindon also designs, manufactures and installs a wide range of standard and custom controlled environment room systems, validated to meet the demanding requirements of the pharmaceutical, medical, biological and healthcare industries.
About Pharmacells Ltd.
Pharmacells is a UK based biotechnology business with exclusive rights to a patented method of harvesting, isolating, storing and maintaining a newly discovered type of blood derived, multipotent adult stem cell. Funding to date has come from a number of sources including business angel group Grampian Bio Partners and Scottish Enterprise, as well private sophisticated investors. Along with their Oristem® private stem cell banking service, they also offer the Thallocell™ product which supplies these amazing cells to suitable academic research projects and pharmaceutical R&D platforms. That side of the business is designed to push the cells into autologous, regenerative therapies and treatments for a wide variety of medical issues.