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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.