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Stem Cell Therapy - Cure for cancer?

Episode #



National #5


May ÷ Nov/2000

(see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)


How Nexell Therapeutics is leading the way with treatments and cures for cancer and other human disease through patented adult human stem cells therapy.

Broadcast Excerpts

Life is already beginning to return to normal for Cynthia Adams. After a lot of research and many discussions with her doctor, Cynthia enrolled in a clinical trial and underwent an aggressive form of cancer therapy called high dose chemotherapy. The intense treatment destroyed her bone marrow, as well as her cancer, so she required a stem cell transplant to restore her immune system.

Unlike older forms of the treatment, Cynthia√s stem cell transplant included cell selection, an FDA-approved process that isolates the stem cells and leaves behind other types of cells, including tumor cells, that might otherwise be returned to her body. Although the long-term clinical benefit of stem cell selection remains unclear, Cynthia√s immune function was restored quickly and she is recovering well.

Our investigative team discovered that while Cynthia√s courageous decision to enroll in a clinical trial is helping to advance cancer treatment, her stem cell transplant places her in the vanguard of what may be the next medical revolution, the use of living cells to treat disease.

It seems every week some new discovery about the promise of stem cells for treating or curing human disease is announced. Stem cells are also controversial, because some of this research involves human embryonic cells. However, we√ve learned that one company, Nexell Therapeutics, is working with adult human stem cells, the kind Cynthia Adams received, and is already capitalizing on the therapeutic and commercial potential of these remarkable cells. Ultimately, millions of patients every year could benefit from medical treatments now being developed using adult stem cells.

A Nasdaq traded company, Nexell Therapeutics is on the forefront of research and development in creating patented cell based therapies. Just as important, Nexell Therapeutics already has the broadest commercial footprint in this new field, selling products to detect, select, culture and store key therapeutic cell types.

The main focus of the Company√s efforts today are called hematopoietic (hee-mato-po-etic), or blood forming, stem cells. These stem cells, which reside in the bone marrow and can be collected from circulating blood, continually produce the cells of our blood and immune system. It is the prospect of being able to control or enhance the activity of the immune system that makes these cells so exciting to medical researchers.

The experience that doctors and researchers are gaining in collecting and processing stem cells for high dose chemotherapy rescue ÷ rebuilding the immune system after cancer treatment - is being applied to experimental treatments for a wide variety of other diseases. In fact, therapies using living cells may provide solutions for a surprising number of unmet medical needs, including cancer, auto-immune and genetic diseases.

Last year, Nexell Therapeutics received FDA approval for use of the Isolex 300i Cell Selection System in autologous (aw-TA-lu-gus) or self-donated transplantation in the high dose chemotherapy setting. In addition to selling the System here and in Europe, Nexell has also launched a number of other products for cell culture, storage and diagnostics that are beginning to tap the power of the stem cell.

Nexell Therapeutics has taken several important organizational and financial steps to position itself for success in this brave new world. Last year it took on sales and distribution responsibilities in Europe and the US from its major partner Baxter Healthcare and completed a $63 million private placement financing. Debt free, the Company now has the operating capital to focus its new sales organizations on optimizing the launch of the Isolex, while moving its development program forward.

Nexell Therapeutics√ early successes in translating the promise of cell therapy from the research laboratory to the routine treatment of patients has placed it in a small group of biotech companies entering early stage commercialization. The big question for this emerging growth story is which of the many potential uses of stem cells will prove to have the greatest benefits for patients and the largest commercial potential in the future. Researchers around the world are racing to find out.