Cytori Therapeutics has announced that GE Healthcare, a division of the General Electric Company, will market Cytori’s stem cell extraction products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for 18 months, beginning in the second quarter of 2009. This agreement follows a similar arrangement that the two companies made in January and which applied to ten European countries.
Known as StemSource, the proprietary technology is used to extract adult stem cells from adipoes (fat) tissue, after which the cells are then either cryogenically preserved or made available for research purposes. The processing system would make the stem cells available for cell banking and research markets.
The agreement does not include Cytori’s Celution System, which is still being reviewed by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for marketing approval.
According to Christopher Calhoun, CEO for Cytori Therapeutics, "Expanding our commercialization partnership into North America will allow us to take advantage of GE Healthcare’s established stem cell banking and research customer base. Both organizations recognize there is an existing demand in the United States for these products and we look forward to making the StemSource technology available in the U.S. in the first half of 2009."
According to Konstantin Fiedler, general manager of Cell Technologies at GE Healthcare, "This agreement between GE Healthcare and Cytori is important for our growing life sciences business. Our U.S. sales team, like that in Europe, is seeing growing customer demand for adipose-related cell technology, both from our existing stem cell banking customers as well as our research customers involved in the development of cell therapies. An expanded partnership with Cytori gives our U.S. sales team access to these first-in-class products for these markets in the United States."
Founded in 1878 by Thomas Edison, the multinational conglomerate General Electric ranks as the tenth largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization, with reported revenue in 2008 of $182.5 billion. The GE Healthcare division alone employs more than 47,000 people in more than 100 countries.
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in San Diego, Cytori Therapeutics develops technology for reconstructive and aesthetic surgical procedures.