New partnership leverages promising Canadian stem cell IP



    MaRS and Canadian Stem Cell Network Partner in Translational Development
    Company Focused in the High Growth Area of Regenerative Medicine

    TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) and the Canadian
Stem Cell Network (SCN) today announced a partnership agreement whereby MaRS
and SCN have agreed to work together to vigorously pursue long-term public or
private financing for the translational development activities currently being
undertaken by Aggregate Therapeutics Inc. (Aggregate); to further expand
Aggregate's potential portfolio into regenerative medicine; to build within
MaRS commercialization capacity in the field of stem cells and regenerative
medicine accessible to all Canadian principal investigators; and to facilitate
the private financing of spin-out companies from Aggregate and member
institutions of SCN.
    Aggregate is a translational development company dedicated to developing
products and therapies in the high growth area of regenerative medicine, which
includes stem cell therapies, tissue engineering, and biomaterials. Aggregate
holds the exclusive rights to work to commercialize promising stem cell
technologies of 37 leading Canadian scientists at 16 major university and
hospital research institutes. This radically new commercialization model
allows investors to quickly identify the most innovative convergent
technologies by offering them a central point to access early Intellectual
Property.
    MaRS takes over immediate ongoing management and governance
responsibilities for Aggregate. MaRS will also provide SCN academic members
with commercialization services like market research, translational
development, and IP guidance. SCN is a national research network of Canada's
leading stem cell scientists, bioengineers and clinicians focused on
translating research into clinical and commercial outcomes. MaRS is dedicated
to supporting the next generation of significant global companies emerging
from Canada's strong foundation of science and technology innovation. MaRS
will leverage its expertise in commercialization to ensure the success of
Aggregate.
    Dr. Annemarie Moseley will continue acting as CEO of Aggregate through
the transition. An executive with over 15 years experience in stem cell device
and biologics development, she is also: Chair, Scientific Advisory Board,
Stryker Orthopedic; formerly executive consultant, Boston Scientific /
Guidant; and also former CEO, Cognate Therapeutics, and Osiris Therapeutics
(NASDAQ:  OSIR).
    Analysts estimate the value of the regenerative medicine market at
$8 billion (U.S.) by 2011, at a minimum. Regenerative medicine promises to
cure previously untreatable chronic diseases and conditions including
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, heart disease, renal failure, osteoporosis
and spinal cord injuries. A truly multidisciplinary field, it brings together
biology, physics, chemistry, and applied engineering.
    "The creation of Aggregate Therapeutics is a major success story for
Canada," noted Frank Gleeson, Chair of the SCN Board. "By establishing a
national technology sharing agreement among the major research institutions
and scientists across the country, Aggregate Therapeutics has been a
pathfinder in facilitating the translation of Canada's national stem cell
treasure into clinical and commercial benefit for all Canadians. The new
partnership with MaRS is a further sign of the inclusiveness that
characterizes Canada's unique, collaborative approach to commercializing basic
science to produce better medicine."
    "MaRS has identified regenerative medicine as a priority area for
investment, and we see the Aggregate model as strategically aligned with our
efforts to connect outstanding scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and
investors to create a more efficient commercialization marketplace," said Dr.
Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS.
    As part of the agreement, a new Board of Directors of Aggregate will be
established, including representatives from MaRS, SCN and Aggregate. MaRS will
seek funding for Regium, the first spin-off of Aggregate, which addresses
aesthetic medicine, joint disease, and diseases of the central nervous system
(CNS).
    Canadian medical researchers have been at the vanguard of regenerative
medicine since the 1960's. Through the efforts of the SCN, Canada is a leader
in effectively co-ordinating grant funding for this research area.

    About Stem Cell Network

    The Stem Cell Network is a bold venture for Canada that brings together
more than 70 leading scientists, clinicians, engineers, and ethicists, with
the mandate to investigate the immense therapeutic potential of stem cells for
the treatment of diseases currently incurable by conventional approaches. It
is one of 23 Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), Canada's flagship
science and technology program. The NCE program is administered and funded by
the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council (SSHRC), in partnership with Industry Canada. The SCN
commercialization pilot project was co-funded by the SCN, CIHR, NSERC, Western
Economic Diversification Canada and Canada Economic Development for Quebec
Regions.

    About Aggregate Therapeutics Inc.

    Aggregate Therapeutics Inc. is a development-stage regenerative-medicine
company that has an exclusive first right to negotiate the commercialization
of stem cell technologies from the laboratories of 37 leading Canadian
scientists. The company uses a portfolio approach to commercialize therapeutic
products for large markets with unmet clinical needs. It aggregates
complementary technologies and leverages them across a common development
platform, management team and source of capital. This approach gives the
company critical mass and lowers the risk, cost, and time to market in
developing and commercializing stem cell-based therapeutic products.

    About MaRS

    MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a not-for-profit corporation
founded by leaders from the business and public sectors to improve commercial
outcomes from Canada's foundation of science and technology innovation. MaRS
connects and fosters collaboration between science, business and capital
through co-location in the MaRS Centre and more broadly through catalytic
programs, structured networks and the MaRS web portal.





For further information:

For further information: John McCulloch, PhD, Venture Group Advisor,
MaRS Discovery District, (416) 673-8127, jmcculloch@marsdd.com,
http://www.marsdd.com; James Price, MBA, Director of Partnerships and
Corporate Development, Stem Cell Network, (613) 562-5114,
james@stemcellnetwork.ca, http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca


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