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MICROISLET ADDS NEW PATENT FOR ENCAPSULATION OF ISLET CELLS.

MicroIslet, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: MIIS), San Diego, Calif., has announced that the United States Patent Office has granted patent number 6,365,385, which is licensed exclusively to the company under its license agreement with Duke University. This new patent, entitled Methods of Culturing and Encapsulating Pancreatic Islet Cells, covers processes to effectively culture and transplant functional and viable islet cells, the major insulin-secreting cells, into people with insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes mellitus.

"We believe this latest patent provides us with a very strong and protective intellectual property portfolio in the field of islet cell transplantation," commented John F. Steel, chairman and chief executive officer of MicroIslet. "The patent further enhances MicroIslet's position in the development of procedures designed to provide a long-term solution for people with insulin-dependent diabetes; a form of diabetes creating a tremendous health and economic burden for the millions of people with the disease. Diabetes mellitus costs the U.S. healthcare system tens of billions of dollars annually."

A long-standing problem in transplantation of islet cells is the rapid and significant loss of functionality once the cells are harvested from the donor. Subsequent problems are caused by the body's rejection of the transplanted cells. This patent, in addition to patent number 6,303,355 entitled Method of Culturing, Cryopreserving and Encapsulating Pancreatic Islet Cells also exclusively licensed to the company, cover technologies designed to overcome these problems without the use of immunosuppresive drugs that would harm the patient's immune system.

"The issuance of these patents is an important step forward for us, and facilitates moving forward with preclinical studies of our products," said Haro Hartounian, Ph.D., president and chief operating officer of MicroIslet. "The company has made significant progress in the last several months. We now have a senior management team with experience in biopharmaceutical product development and manufacturing, a novel patented technology platform, a large unmet medical need and the passion to provide the solution."

MicroIslet's goal is to develop a suspension of microencapsulated islet cells, which can be injected in a minimally invasive procedure to restore the patient's ability to automatically regulate blood glucose levels for an extended period of time while avoiding the use of immunosuppressive drugs. During this time, the patient's requirement for supplemental insulin injections and frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels would be eliminated. The company believes that its islet cell transplantation technology has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for people with insulin-dependent diabetes.

About MicroIslet

MicroIslet is a biotechnology company engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of patented technologies in the field of transplantation therapy for people with insulin-dependent diabetes. MicroIslet's patented islet transplantation technology, exclusively licensed from Duke University, includes methods for isolating, culturing, cryopreservation, and immuno-protection (microencapsulation) of islet cells. MicroIslet is working to develop and commercialize a first product, called MicroIslet-P(tm), a microencapsulated porcine islet cell suspension that will be used for transplantation in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes.

For more information, visit http://www.microislet.com or call (858)657-0287.
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Comment:MICROISLET ADDS NEW PATENT FOR ENCAPSULATION OF ISLET CELLS.
Publication:Biotech Business
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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