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Research Studies Confirm Promise of Novel Cord Blood Stem Cell from BioE.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Comparative study finds MLPC offers "exciting capabilities for tissue engineering applications"; Collaborative study proves MLPC has significant differentiation capabilities

BioE(R), Inc., a biomedical company providing non-embryonic, human stem cells, announced today that studies conducted by researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis confirm the promise of the company's novel cord blood stem cell -- the Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell(TM) (MLPC(TM)) -- for tissue engineering, bone marrow transplantation and regenerative medicine applications.

Comparative Study Finds MLPC Offers "Exciting Capabilities for Tissue Engineering Applications"

Researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne found BioE's MLPC to be homogeneous and extremely immature in a comparative study, thus offering "exciting capabilities for tissue engineering applications." Results of this study were presented at The American Society of Cellular Biology's 45th Annual Meeting in San Francisco earlier this week.

"Developing reproducible protocols for tissue engineering requires reliable access to sufficient numbers of uniform and uncommitted cell types, which is not characteristic of many cell groups," said Dr. Nicolas Forraz, clinical sciences business manager at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and lead author of the study. "After comparing the MLPC to five other cell subsets of varying maturity, our study determined it meets these critical tissue engineering requirements and, therefore, provides researchers and clinicians a new tool for advancing their regenerative medicine studies."

Specifically, the MLPC was examined via gene expression analysis against other umbilical cord blood cell subsets -- including mononuclear cells, PrepaCyte(R)(1)-purified lymphocyte cells, blood progenitor cells and lineage-negative stem cells -- and a bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) to span a range of cell groups at various stages of differentiation. The MLPC's expression profile was most different from the mature mono-nucleated and PrepaCyte-purified lymphocyte cell populations, with it "reflecting a high degree of stemness, immaturity and quiescence." Compared to the progenitor and stem cell subsets, the MLPC expressed greater levels of early stage cell and tissue differentiation capabilities.

"With the availability of immature cord blood stem cells -- like the MLPC -- whose differentiation characteristics are more closely aligned with those of embryonic stem cells, the stigma of 'limited functionality' that once surrounded these cells is on its way to being erased," said Professor Colin McGuckin, chair of regenerative medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and senior investigator of the study. "Cord blood stem cells also have a promising immediate future from a clinical standpoint because their origins are from a proven therapeutic source."

The findings of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne study comparing the MLPC to five other cell types also were presented in October at the Tissue Engineering Society International's 8th Annual Meeting in Shanghai, China.

Collaborative Study Proves MLPC has Significant Differentiation Capabilities

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, in conjunction with BioE, proved the MLPC has the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types and precursors -- including fat, bone, muscle, liver, blood vessels and nerves -- that give rise to more complex tissues and organ systems, making it a strong candidate to "serve a role in bone marrow transplantation and regenerative medicine." Results of this study were presented at The American Society of Hematology's 47th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta last weekend.

"Until now, isolating a cord blood stem cell that can differentiate into the body's three germinal layers has had limited clinical success," said Assistant Professor David McKenna, M.D., from the University of Minnesota. "Our research indicates the MLPC definitely has these multi-potent capabilities. As a result, the discovery and availability of the MLPC to bone marrow transplantation and regenerative medicine researchers represents a significant breakthrough."

Researchers from the University of Minnesota also supported the derivation of the MLPC from a CD45+/CD34+ subpopulation, making this cell very unique. In addition, the MLPC demonstrated the ability to expand through multiple duplications without affecting its subsequent expansion or differentiation capabilities. This trait ensures researchers will be able to grow enough of these highly functional cells to perform challenging or lengthy studies.

Furthermore, study researchers were able to establish several clonal lines from a single MLPC, not a population of cells like nearly every other type of stem cell. This characteristic ensures every replica MLPC is an exact genetic copy of its original, providing researchers greater control and reproducibility during their stem cell clinical studies.

"We are very pleased to see third-party validation of our MLPC characteristics, particularly results that illustrate how flexible the MLPC is from a differentiation standpoint," said Michael Haider, president and chief executive officer for BioE. "Our research and that of others, including those at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and University of Minnesota, demonstrates why this cell is quickly becoming a viable and non-controversial tool not only for therapeutic research, but also for high-throughput drug discovery and screening."

About BioE

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., BioE is a biomedical company providing enabling non-embryonic, human stem cells. The company's first commercial Cell Biologics product is its Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell (MLPC) derived from human umbilical cord blood. This rare stem cell provides clinicians and researchers a flexible, non-controversial tool for therapeutic research and/or high-throughput drug discovery and screening. BioE is privately owned and was founded in 1993. For more information about the company, please visit www.bioe.com or call (800) 350-6466.

(1) PrepaCyte is BioE's proprietary cell separation platform.
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Date:Dec 14, 2005
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