Today DARA BioSciences announced a strategic partnership with America Stem Cell Inc. (ASC) for the R&D of transplants in which the adult stem cells known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are used. The announcement represents a logical continuation of preclinical studies in which dipeptidylpeptidase (DPPIV) inhibitors were found to improve the efficacy of HSC transplantation, which is often employed in the treatment of many malignant as well as non-malignant hematological disorders.
Scientists at DARA will provide the DPPIV inhibitors to scientists at ASC, who in turn will collaborate with DARA in the further development and commercialization of the inhibitors for the clinical therapeutic treatment of patients who need HSC transplants.
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the pharmaceutical company DARA BioSciences specializes in the acquisition and development of "small molecule" therapeutics for the subsequent sale or out-licensing of the therapies to larger pharmaceutical companies. The company’s portfolio includes several drug candidates for the treatment of Type II diabetes, psoriasis, and neuropathic pain in cancer patients. One of DARA’s proprietary products, KRN5500, has already successfully completed a Phase II-a clinical trial for neuropathic pain that is secondary to cancer.
Founded in 2005 and located in Carlsbad, California, America Stem Cell Inc. describes itself as "a privately held biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of enabling technologies to enhance and expand the therapeutic potential of stem cell transplants." The company employs hematopoietic stem cells derived from cord blood, peripheral blood and bone marrow, from which the proprietary products ASC-101 and ASC-201 are formulated, and which, as described on the company’s website, have demonstrated "potential for many other clinical applications such as treatment of inflammation from chemotherapy/radiation, treatment of cancer tumors, autoimmune diseases and myocardial infarction." Previously, ASC has formed a number of other strategic partnerships with other organizations which include the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Vidacord Technologia Biomedica, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.