VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue, predictive toxicology and drug metabolism screening, today announced its membership in the Toronto-based Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine's (CCRM) Industry Consortium.
"VistaGen's membership reflects our strong association with CCRM and its core programs and objectives, both directly and through our strategic relationships with Dr. Gordon Keller and the University Health Network (NYSEARCA:UHN). Our long-term sponsored research agreement with Dr. Keller, UHN and UHN's McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine offers both a solid foundation and unique opportunities for expanding the commercial applications of our Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ platform by building multi-party collaborations with CCRM and members of its Industry Consortium," stated Shawn Singh, VistaGen CEO. "These collaborations have the potential to transform medicine and accelerate significant advances in human health and wellness that stem cell technologies and regenerative medicine promise."
"Even before VistaGen joined CCRM's Industry Consortium it was active in the Toronto regenerative medicine community and advising us as we prepared to launch in 2011," commented Dr. Michael May, CEO of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. "I'm confident that our relationship will grow stronger with VistaGen as a formal partner and I look forward to us working closely together on projects that will accelerate drug discovery and benefit patients."
CCRM is funded by the Government of Canada, six Ontario-based institutional partners, and more than 20 companies representing the key sectors of the regenerative medicine industry. CCRM supports the development of foundational technologies that hasten the commercialization of stem cell-based and biomaterials-based products and therapies. Notable members of CCRM's Industry Consortium include Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and Lonza.
The industry leaders that comprise the CCRM consortium benefit from proprietary access to certain licensing opportunities, academic rates on fee-for-service contracts at CCRM and opportunities to participate in large collaborative projects, among other advantages. VistaGen is especially well positioned through its existing relationships with key members.
Gordon Keller, Ph.D. is Director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at UHN. A CCRM partner, the McEwen Centre is a world-renowned centre for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and a world-class stem cell research facility. He is also a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics and Senior Scientist of the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. Dr. Keller's lab is one of the world leaders in successfully applying principles from the study of developmental biology of many animal systems to the differentiation of pluripotent stem cell systems, resulting in reproducible, high-yield production of human heart, liver, blood and vascular cells. The results and procedures developed in Dr. Keller's lab are often quoted and used by academic scientists worldwide.
UHN, a major landmark in Canada's healthcare system, is one of the world's largest research hospitals, with major research in transplantation, cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases and genomic medicine. Providing care to the community for more than two centuries, UHN brings together the talent and resources needed to achieve global impact and provide exemplary patient care, research and education.
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