Asymmetrex reports positive indicators for adult tissue stem cells crowdsourcing campaign

Written by Alexandra Thompson

Asymmetrex (MA, USA) reports positive early indicators of crowdsourcing campaign to evaluate new biomarkers for counting adult tissue stem cells

On the first day of the 2015 Epigenomics & Metabolomics Meeting in Boston (MA, USA) and 4 months into Asymmetrex, LLC (MA, USA)’s planned 1-year crowdsourcing campaign for counting adult tissue stem cells, the company revealed that all data available so far — electronic measures of the level of engagement of the stem cell research and stem cell medicine communities — were suggesting the effort was doing well, with growing interest and participation.

Asymmetrex’s technologies are based on the principle of bioengineering regular laboratory cells to take on the functions of adult tissue stem cells. These cells can then be used to discover highly specific biomarkers for tissue stem cells, by avoiding the confounding that occurs by the non-stem cells that can contaminate purified preparations of natural tissue stem cells. As the bioengineered functions are found in all adult tissue stem cells, the resulting biomarkers are predicted to have universal application.

H2A.Z asymmetry, a new biomarker for adult tissue stem cells, was chosen as the poster child for the crowdsourcing campaign owing to its high level of specificity. At the meeting, Asymmetrix Director James L Sherley stated Asymmetrex’s technology portfolio includes another 84 potential adult tissue stem cell biomarkers on top of H2A.Z asymmetry. The company holds three patents that cover these candidate biomarkers, which could be capable of counting adult tissue stem cells in any organ or tissue in any mammalian species — hence why the company embarked on a crowdsourcing approach for commercial development.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness. Sherley explained: “If the biomarkers are as able as we project, commercial success will follow in many areas.” By appealing to members of the stem cell with H2A.Z asymmetry, Sherley believes that researchers will investigate the other candidates, giving the company valuable data and exposure much earlier.

Asymmetrex estimates that it has contacted more than 10 million relevant investigators using social media strategies since the launch of the campaign, which has subsequently refined to a more target Twitter audience of nearly 300,000. “We are fairly certain now that we are reaching the right investigators,” Sherley stated, and followed with data demonstrating that the conversion rate for the Twitter population was >1% since early May — when rates of 0.1% are generally considered positive. Furthermore, nearly 200 independent contacts have now visited the crowdsourcing information page on Asymmetrex website. Responding visitors expressed interest in counting many types of tissue stem cells in a variety of species.