Stem Cell Therapeutics is a biotechnology company from Calgary Canada that is developing a novel type of stem cell therapy: instead of administering stem cells, they give drugs that activate the patient’s own stem cells. The company licensed intellectual property from Dr. Samuel Wise, which covered the use of agents such as erythropoietin, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), parathyroid hormone, and prolactin, for stimulation of the body’s own stem cells.
The company published a paper describing their Phase I clinical trial of hCG entitled "Open labeled, uncontrolled pharmacokinetic study of single intramuscular hCG dose in healthy male volunteers" the August 2009 issue of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Which assessed feasibility of administration of hCG and demonstrated it can cross the blood brain barrier by assessment of cerebral spinal fluid levels of the hormone. These data were important because it allowed the company to enter Phase II clinical trials for treatment of stroke using a combination of the red blood cell stimulating hormone erythropoietin, together with hCG.
If successful, this will be one of the very few companies that uses injectable drugs as a substitute for stem cells. This is an important paradigm shift in cell therapy since many of the current therapies require manipulation of cells outside of the body, which is expensive and currently limited to a small number of clinical trials.
The company is also working on other neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury, both of which are in preclinical stages of development, however animal data to date has been promising. For multiple sclerosis the hormone prolactin is being used as a stem cell stimulatory drug, whereas for brain injury hCG and erythropoietin are used, in a similar model as in the current stroke trials.
Today Stem Cell Therapeutics announced that it has closed on two separate financing deals that together yielded $2,186,941 in gross proceeds. The first deal was a brokered private placement through J.F. Mackie & Company Ltd for $1,138,741, whereas the second was a non-brokered offering of $1,048,200. The company reported that proceeds will be used for general working capital purposes.