NeoStem (NYSE Amex: NBS) is the recipient of a $700,000 contract from the U.S. Army Medical Research grant to study the use of Primcel, a topically applied stem cell product designed to aid wound healing. Primcel uses adult stem cells derived from a person’s own bone marrow (mesenchymal stem cells) with the goal of speeding recovery and avoiding amputation in non-healing, chronic wounds.
NeoStem is developing a series of adult stem cell banks at the same time it is seeking uses for the harvested cells. Besides chronic wounds, it hopes to expand its studies to applying stem cells for spinal cord injuries and retinal damage.
In May 2009, NeoStem in-licensed the worldwide rights to Primcel, which was developed by Vincent Falanga, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor, Boston University School of Medicine and Chairman and Program Director at Roger Williams Medical Center. Dr. Falanga will serve as Co-Principal Investigator for this study.
At the time of the in-licensing, NeoStem said the regimen for Primcel involved three treatments over a 12-week period.
The $700,000 grant was included in the 2009 fiscal year US Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. NeoStem expects to begin receiving funds to initiate the program this year. NeoStem said the initiative would further its study of adult stem cell benefits, including the very small embryonic-like stem cells, for which NeoStem holds an exclusive license.
Since November 2009, NeoStem has owned a 51% stake in Suzhou Erye Pharma, a company with $60 million in revenues. Erye has a portfolio of 100 products and is known as a maker of generic antibiotics. In the first quarter of 2010, NeoStem reported a $2.6 million net loss on revenues of $15.8 million.
Last month, Erye announced the SFDA approved two new manufacturing lines that will allow it to increase revenues by $20 million. The lines will manufacture penicillin and cephalosporin powder for injection.
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