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CELLPRO SYSTEM TO BE USED IN GENE THERAPY TRIALS FOR GAUCHER'S DISEASE

 SEATTLE, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- CellPro Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRO) announced today that the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved two gene therapy protocols involving the use of the company's CEPRATE(R) Stem Cell Concentration System for treatment of Gaucher's disease.
 The two separate, but similar, studies will be conducted under the direction of Drs. Stefan Karlsson and Cynthia Dunbar of the NIH, Dr. Donald B. Kohn of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles ?by Dr. John Barranger of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The studies will begin after the investigators receive clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
 Gaucher's disease is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the accumulation of mucopolysaccharides which are normally broken down in macrophages and monocytes by the glucocerebrosidase enzyme. These mucopolysaccharides accumulate in the liver, spleen and brain, leading to a range of complications including enlarged livers and spleens, severe neurologic abnormalities and death. Current therapy involves administration of the missing enzyme. Such treatment is life-long and expensive.
 In preclinical studies, it has been demonstrated that the gene that produces the glucocerebrosidase enzyme can be successfully inserted into stem cells, which produce all cells of the blood and immune systems. In the planned trials, CellPro's stem cell concentration system will be used to isolate stem cells from the patient. The stem cells will then be marked with the enzyme-producing gene and returned to the patient. The genetically altered cells migrate to the bone marrow where they continue to grow and produce macrophages and monocytes that can break down the mucopolysaccharides. If the procedure is successful, gene therapy would have effectively cured this disease.
 "These trials demonstrate the increasing role of stem cells as vehicles for the delivery and functional integration of missing genes in inherited diseases or genes with therapeutic potential," said Ronald J. Berenson, vice president of biological research and medical affairs at CellPro. "The number of exciting gene therapy strategies is growing rapidly, and we believe that this field will create major business potential for CellPro."
 The CEPRATE(R) SC Stem Cell Concentration System is a four-component system that rapidly separates stem cells in a unique continuous-flow process. In the area of gene therapy, the CEPRATE(R) SC System is being used in studies for the treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID) and in trials for the treatment of ovarian cancer using a multi-drug resistance gene. Beyond gene therapy, the system is being tested in allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and in support of aggressive chemotherapy. CellPro also is exploring concentrating stem cells from peripheral blood in a non-invasive procedure that could serve as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of cancers.
 Located in Bothell, Wash., CellPro Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of proprietary continuous-flow, cell-selection systems for use in a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic and research applications.
 -0- 6/10/93
 /CONTACT: Lee Parker of CellPro, 206-485-7644/
 (CPRO)


CO: CellPro Inc.; National Institues of Health ST: Washington IN: MTC SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1993
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