ESI BIO Technology
Ascendance has licensed the powerful, proprietary stem cell-based technologies ESI BIO, the research products division of BioTime, Inc. The ESI BIO technology is backed by a portfolio of over 400 patents and patent families in the stem cell and cellular matrix field, including intellectual property and products for stem cell culture, differentiation and manufacture. A defining feature of the ESI BIO technology is the focus on providing products that can be produced at a research grade or a clinical grade for easy “translation” to the clinic. Ascendance is using the ESI BIO technology to develop new products and services for drug development and testing and to create new products for researchers to use as tools for basic research.
Hydrogel-based Cellular Matrix Technology
The ESI BIO hydrogel-based cellular matrix technology, represented by the HyStem® brand, is based on cross-linking modified hyaluronan, a naturally-occurring component of the extracellular matrix of natural tissues. The combination of modified macro-molecules in the presence of a cross-linker results in a biocompatible hydrogel that is highly customizable for use in a wide range of cell culture platforms. The timing of gel formation upon mixing components is extremely flexible and can easily be controlled so that cellular proteins, chemically-defined material, or cells can be incorporated into the forming hydrogel to test a wide range of experimental parameters. Gel viscosity and stiffness is controlled through cross-linking of the hydrogel without the formation of undesirable bi-products or temperature or pH changes that may otherwise compromise experimental samples. The HyStem® hydrogels are provided at a research or clinical grade.
Biotime, Inc. holds exclusive worldwide rights to a patent estate that was licensed from the University of Utah Research Foundation with broad claims to product chemical composition, method of crosslinking, method of preparation, and the use of the synthetic extracellular matrix.
Embryonic Stem Cell Technology
The ESI BIO human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines (hESC) were originally derived BioTime’s subsidiary ES Cell International Pte Ltd (ESI) under conditions that adhere to global ethical standards and conform to regulations controlling clinical-grade cell and tissue development (current Good Tissue Practices) and comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGTPs and cGMPs). ESI BIO’s hES cell lines have their complete genome sequence available and are among the best-characterized and documented lines available today.
These cell lines have been approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and are included in the NIH Stem Cell Registry.
Progenitor Cell Technology
Heat map of unique gene expression markers distinguishing mesenchymal stem cells and chondrogenic human embryonic progenitor cell lines in the undifferentiated state.
ESI BIO provides clonally pure cultures of human embryonic progenitor cells (hEPC) under the PureStem® brand. To derive these unique progenitors, human embryonic stem cells were cultured under an array of differentiation conditions and time periods, creating hundreds of colonies containing thousands of types of unique transient embryonic progenitor cells. These hEPC are normally transient, existing for a short time in an embryo before they receive a signal to change into the next cell type in its developmental pathway.
These transient progenitors show characteristics not observed in cells derived from adult stem cells, including differentiation to tissues that may be more appropriate for research and therapy such as chondrogenic cells that do not express markers of hypertrophic cartilage. They are highly proliferative, producing scalable cultures free of difficult to control totipotent cells. liferative, producing scalable cultures free of difficult to control totipotent cells.