Investor Stem Cell (www.InvestorStemCell.com) is dedicated to bringing investors and stakeholders together in thoughtful discussion to educate and publicize the incredible advancements in the regenerative medicine sector.
Online PR News – 31-May-2011 – – Mr. William M. Caldwell IV (“Bill”) served as Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Cell Technology until his sudden death on December 13, 2010 at the age of 62. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Southern California and was a Multinational Enterprise Fellow at the Wharton School of Finance. His diverse global management background of almost 40 years made him the right person at the right the time to resurrect Advanced Cell Technology (OTC:ACTC) from the edge of bankruptcy in June 2008 to transforming ACT to the global leader in regenerative medicine in June 2011.
Thanks to Bill, interim CEO Gary Rabin, Dr. Robert Lanza and his team, Advanced Cell Technology is expected in June 2011 to begin a US Food and Drug Administration Phase I/II multicenter clinical trial using retinal cells derived from human embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) for both Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy (SMD) and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) the most common form of macular degeneration in the world affecting an estimated 150 million people. The trials will take place at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute in California & Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. No approved treatment is currently available for AMD, so an approved treatment is valued in the tens of billions of dollars.
Raymond Lund, Ph.D., a scientific collaborator with ACT and considered one of the world’s foremost experts in retinal cell physiology and vision restoration, commented, “The study results of ACT’s RPE cells implanted in the various animal models of macular degeneration was phenomenal. If ACT observes even a fraction of that benefit in humans, it will be nothing short of a home run."
Advanced Cell Technology pioneered a solution to the ethical, moral and legal debate surrounding human embryonic stem cell research. ACT has developed an “Embryo-Safe” technique. The “single-blastomere” technique awarded in February 2011, Patent Number 7,893,315 is a non-destructive alternative for deriving hESC lines. The single cell blastomere technology (SCB) uses a one-cell biopsy approach similar to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which is widely used in the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process and does not interfere with the embryo’s developmental potential. The safety record for one-cell biopsy as part of PGD now has a 15-year track record, and is carried out routinely as part of IVF processes around the world.
ACT’s SCB technique can be paralleled in its use as a blood transfusion, but on a molecular level. In a traditional blood transfusion one pint yields trillions of red blood cells. ACT’s “embryo-safe” technique extracts just one cell from two day old embryo. As the human body regenerates the billions of red blood cells removed, the two day old embryo also regenerates the one missing cell, making the human embryo as it was prior. ACT researchers have found that not only does the SC) technique solve the ethical concerns, but as an added benefit, the hESC extracted at such an early growth stage of the embryo are more robust and reproducible than traditional ICM derived lines. In a head-to-head comparison with 24 NIH lines, they are on average five times more efficient than the best NIH lines for producing cells from all three germ layers.
The legacy of Bill Caldwell can be measured in many ways. "To understand Bill you really need to look at him in three ways,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at ACT. "There was the businessman, the leader and the person. As a person, he was very humble and unassuming. As a leader, he created a culture where hard work and collaboration just came naturally. There is an incredible vibrancy to our company that Bill created. And as businessman, he was masterful. It is because he made it his mission in life that we are about to begin treating macular degeneration patients in the coming months, and have an exciting pipeline of new therapies of in the works. My greatest regret is that someday there will be people who will benefit from stem cell therapies, but who will never know the sacrifices that Bill and his wife Nancy made for their well-being”.
Sai Rosen, Director of Client Relations for InvestorStemCell.com, commented, “ The regenerative medicine community will be forever indebted to Mr. Caldwell for his visionary insight. Bill had several choices in ACT’s pipe-line to move towards commercialization. He chose the “low hanging fruit” of ACT’s RPE cells because of the tremendous animal trials. The old adage of a picture is worth a thousand words will come into play in that ACT’s trial partners will image before and after the cohorts Bruchs membrane, of which will show the exact RPE layers before injections, after injections.”
Disclosure: Stem Cell Media LLC nor its Companies was compensated by “any” entity for this article. www.investorstemcell.com is bringing investors and stakeholders together to participate in the world’s only online discussion forum dedicated to regenerative medicine. A paradigm shift in health care is upon the world.