BioTime, a biotechnology company that develops and markets products in regenerative medicine, has signed an exclusive sublicense agreement with Jade Therapeutics, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based developer of ophthalmic sustained-release drug delivery platforms. This new agreement supersedes the previously announced sublicense and supply agreements and expands the licensed field of use to include certain additional uses, such as BioTime’s HyStem hydrogel technology for the delivery of all potential therapeutic molecules to the human eye. Excluded from the licensed field of use is the HyStem technology for the delivery of cells with or without any molecules necessary for the therapeutic benefit of those cells, for use in making punctal plugs, for diagnostic and research reagents and for non-human applications.
BioTime's HyStem hydrogels are proprietary biocompatible hydrogels that can be used to deliver localized doses of small molecules, proteins or cells. HyStem hydrogels also can mimic the human extracellular matrix, a web of molecules surrounding cells that is essential to cellular growth. HyStem hydrogels are currently being used by researchers at a number of medical schools in studies of stem cell therapies for facilitating wound healing and for the treatment of ischemic stroke, brain cancer, vocal fold scarring and cardiac infarct.
Arthur Klausner, Jade chief executive officer, said, “We have evaluated a variety of potential polymer-based drug delivery systems, and we believe that HyStem hydrogels provide an excellent combination of the required physical properties to enable broad ocular use. We also will benefit from the extensive preclinical work that BioTime has performed onits hydrogels outside of ophthalmology.”
Jade’s lead products in preclinical development utilize the licensed hydrogel technology to facilitate time-release, topical delivery of recombinant human growth hormone to help heal lesions on the ocular surface, as well as enable local delivery of antibiotics to treat ocular infections. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Our HyStem technology has potential utility in a wide array of human therapeutic products,” said Michael West, Ph.D., BioTime’s chief executive officer. “Following up on the Jade agreement, we intend to seek additional industry partners for applications that are not core to our own therapeutic product development.”