Like a number of other growing companies, VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotech company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy, plans to use the OTC Bulletin Board as an important starting point for a move to the NYSE Amex or NASDAQ. In its efforts to access capital markets and raise awareness, the company sees such a move as important for expanding visibility and growing its investor base. Biotech companies that have recently followed a similar path include Neoprobe Corp. (NEOP), which successfully made the leap from OTCBB to the NYSE Amex earlier this year, and Echo Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ECTE), which recently moved from the OTCBB to Nasdaq. [NOTE: ECTE reflects the march to Nasdaq very well, and its post-listing volume is much more reflective of what VistaGen aspires to achieve near term.]
Following its successful strategic financing in May, VistaGen is now ready to put its advanced stem cell technology platform to work after twelve years of extensive research and development. VistaGen’s platform combines several technologies, including stem cell technologies developed by VistaGen and renowned Canadian scientist, Dr. Gordon Keller, the Chairman of VistaGen’s Scientific Advisory Board and Director of the University Health Network’s McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto. One valuable commercial application of VistaGen’s technology involves using mature human cells derived from pluripotent stem cells to create a new generation of biological assays for drug screening. It’s part of an effort to rescue once promising drug candidates that have proven efficacy but which were shelved by pharmaceutical companies due to toxicity issues.
VistaGen’s first target market is heart toxicity, an area of primary concern and potential. The Company’s human heart cell-based CardioSafe 3D bioassay system provides clinically relevant predictive data before human use, thereby preventing serious safety problems seen with such widely-marketed products as Merck’s Vioxx or GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia. VistaGen is looking to rescue drug candidates that have established efficacy and millions dollars in research behind them, offering huge potential when brought back on track through carefully performed re-engineering using a combination of its stem cell technology and modern medicinal chemistry.
Besides drug rescue, VistaGen is also using its stem cell technologies to advance its preclinical cell therapy programs for applications in autologous bone marrow transplantation and heart, liver, and cartilage repair. In addition, its AV-101 prodrug candidate is in clinical development for treatment of neuropathic pain and other neurological disorders such as epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease and depression.
For additional information, visit the company’s website at VistaGen.com
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