Cell therapy weekly: Taiwan expands availability of cell therapy

This week: First patients treated in degenerative disc disease trial and BioLife Solutions to acquire outstanding shares in SAVSU Technologies

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Jul 11, 2019
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The news highlights:

Taiwan expands availability of cell therapy with approval for two further hospitals to offer cell therapy
First patients treated in degenerative disc disease trial
BioLife Solutions to acquire outstanding shares in SAVSU Technologies

Taiwan expands availability of cell therapy with approval for two further hospitals to offer cell therapy

Officials from the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) have revealed that two further hospitals in Taiwan may receive approval to issue cell therapies within the month. Shin Kong International HealthCare Center in Taipei is likely to be approved for non-cancer related cell therapy; the other facility was not specified.

 "Cell therapy is another choice of treatment, but it is not a panacea," commented Shih Chung-liang (石崇良), director-general of the MOHW's Department of Medical Affairs, also mentioning the potential high cost of the treatment and uncertain results.  

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First patients treated in degenerative disc disease trial

The first patients have been treated in a US trial for an allogeneic degenerative disc disease (DDD) trial. IDCT, developed by DiscGenics, Inc. (UT, USA), is derived from intervetebral disc cells and aims to reduce pain and disability caused by inflammation. 14 clinics are participating in this phase I/II trial, treating 60 subjects with either low dose IDCT, high dose IDCT, a vehicle or a placebo.

“We’re thrilled to be participating in the clinical evaluation of IDCT,” said Angela Krull, The SMART Clinic and the clinic’s principal investigator for DiscGenics’ IDCT trial. “The SMART Clinic is committed to changing the way spine conditions are managed in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah, and we believe that this potentially regenerative, non-surgical therapeutic option could have a significant impact on our patients with DDD.”

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BioLife Solutions to acquire outstanding shares in SAVSU Technologies

Following investment in the company in 2018, BioLife Solutions (WA, USA) has announced they are exercising their option to fully acquire SAVSU Technologies (NM, USA) by purchasing the remaining 56% shares in the business in return for 1.1 million shares of BioLife common stock. The acquisition will support BioLife’s position as a leading supplier of logistics solutions and also includes 15 pending and issued patents granted to SAVSU.

Mike Rice, BioLife President & CEO, commented, "Over the past year the SAVSU team has made significant progress in engaging with leading cell and gene therapy companies and with specialty couriers to position the evo system as a new, best-in-class alternative to providers of traditional liquid nitrogen shippers and disconnected dataloggers. We welcome SAVSU to the growing family of technologies in our bioproduction tools portfolio."

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For more weekly cell therapy news, read previous editions of the cell therapy weekly.

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