MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug 16. Benitec Limited(ASX: BLT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with California-basedCalbaTech, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CLBE) to provide stem cell storageservices for US HIV patients who may use the healthy adult (or "blood" or"hematopoietic") stem cells in future therapy.
Benitec has collaborated with City of Hope, a biomedical research andtreatment center, in the development of a possible HIV therapeutic. Thisinvestigational HIV therapeutic creates the possibility that an adult (or"blood" or "hematopoietic") stem cell based therapeutic may be able to takethe place of anti-retroviral medication. Early banking of adult (or "blood"or "hematopoietic") stem cells by HIV sufferers may be very prudent if a stemcell therapy is approved by the FDA after the conclusion of clinical trials.
This potential therapy surrounds a newly discovered possible way in whichto fight HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, with genetically modified adult (or"blood" or "hematopoietic") stem cells. The potential therapeutic may emergeas the first to use specially engineered, HIV-fighting genes that are insertedinto patients' own harvested adult (or "blood" or "hematopoietic") stem cells.After re-infusion into the patient, the new treatment may allow patients'bodies to produce HIV-resistant white blood cells indefinitely.
Benitec's MOU with CalbaTech would provide, in the short term, thatBenitec would receive fees for stem cell storage performed by CalbaTech'ssubsidiary, TherapyStem, Inc. In the longer term, both Benitec and CalbaTechare encouraged that this potential new therapeutic will develop an effectiveHIV therapeutic that relies on healthy adult (or "blood" or "hematopoietic")stem cells. CalbaTech believes that, in the future, as this potentialtherapeutic develops, TherapyStem will be able to treat the cells that havebeen banked by HIV patients and send those treated cells to a patient'streating physician for re-injection. CalbaTech would pay to Benitec a fee forusing the protocols developed for the treatment of the stem cells.
CalbaTech's new subsidiary, TherapyStem, Inc., has created apatent-pending., process to harvest stem cells from HIV infected individualsto be cryopreserved for future transplantation into a client for medicalpurposes. All other stem cell collection services exclude the collection,processing and storage of blood from individuals with HIV. As the business ofTherapyStem develops, the company also believes that it will be able tocollect, process and store stem cells from umbilical cords that have come froma mother that has HIV. Those cords are currently excluded from collection bycord blood companies.
Benitec is an Australian biotechnology company focused on licensing itsextensive intellectual property portfolio and developing therapeutics to treatserious diseases using its proprietary ddRNAi technology. Its currenttherapeutic program is focused on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).Benitec's RNA-based HIV therapeutic, co-developed with City of Hope in Duarte,California, is currently in Phase I trial at City of Hope. For additionalinformation, please visit http://www.benitec.com.
CalbaTech, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CLBE) is an emerging life sciencescompany (http://www.CalbaTech.com) concentrating on providing products andplatforms to the research market for biotech and pharmaceutical companies andto academic institutions. CalbaTech's wholly owned subsidiary LifeStem hasdeveloped a unique process to harvest stem cells in micro quantities to becryopreserved for future transplantation into a client for medical purposes.The collection of stem cells from two different tissue sources increases thepotential for treatment of more diseases. CalbaTech's new wholly-ownedsubsidiary, TherapyStem, Inc., with its patent pending collection service