BioTime, Inc., a biotechnology company that develops and markets products in the field of regenerative medicine, today announced the signing of an exclusive sublicense agreement with Jade Therapeutics, Inc., a Salt Lake City-based developer of ophthalmic sustained-release drug delivery platforms. This new agreement supersedes the previously announced sublicense and supply agreements and expands the licensed "Field of Use' to include certain additional uses, such as the use of BioTime's HyStemŽ hydrogel technology for the delivery of all potential therapeutic molecules to the human eye. Excluded from the licensed Field of Use is the use of the HyStemŽ technology for the delivery of cells with or without any molecules necessary for the therapeutic benefit of those cells, for use in making punctal plugs, for diagnostic and research reagents, and for non-human applications. Jade's lead products in pre-clinical development utilize the licensed hydrogel technology to facilitate time-release, topical delivery of recombinant human growth hormone to help heal lesions on the ocular surface, as well as enable local delivery of antibiotics to treat ocular infections. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
William P. Tew, Ph.D., BioTime's Chief Commercial Officer, stated that "We are pleased to have expanded our relationship with Jade Therapeutics and look forward to their efforts to develop novel ophthalmic drug delivery applications for our HyStemŽ hydrogel platform.'
Said Jade CEO Arthur Klausner, "We have evaluated a variety of potential polymer-based drug delivery systems, and we believe that HyStemŽ hydrogels provide an excellent combination of the required physical properties to enable broad ocular use. We will also benefit significantly from the extensive pre-clinical work that BioTime has performed on its hydrogels outside the field of ophthalmology.'
"Our HyStemŽ technology has potential utility in a wide array of human therapeutic products,' said Michael West, Ph.D., BioTime's CEO. "Following up on the Jade agreement, we intend to seek additional industry partners for applications that are not core to our own therapeutic product development.'
BioTime's HyStemŽ hydrogels are proprietary biocompatible hydrogels that can be used to deliver localized doses of small molecules, proteins or cells. HyStemŽ hydrogels also can mimic the human extracellular matrix, a web of molecules surrounding cells that is essential to cellular growth. BioTime's HyStemŽ hydrogels are currently being used by researchers at a number of leading medical schools in studies of stem cell therapies for facilitating wound healing and for the treatment of ischemic stroke, brain cancer, vocal fold scarring, and cardiac infarct.