Stem cell technology developer Cell Targeting Inc. sold its assets to BioTime Inc. (AMEX:BTX) in a deal worth about $2.3 million.
BioTime will pay $250,000 in cash as well as 262,000 shares of BioTime’s common stock, which was trading around $7.75 at mid-day.
Cleveland-based Cell Targeting is developing technology that can point stem cell therapies to specific areas of the body. Among the many challenges in cell therapy is direction: not enough of the stem cells are getting to the tissues that needs treatment. A stem cell therapy tweaked by Cell Targeting can become unique because it can be directed to different areas of the body to treat different afflictions.
“We make them distinct by our delivery,” Joseph Wagner, Cell Targeting’s president said in 2009. ’We have the ability to make those bags of cells into unique cell-therapy products.’
In that vein, the deal’s biggest advantage to Cell Targeting lies in the potential of coupling its technology with BioTime’s product line of stem cell cancer treatments, Wagner said Friday.
BioTime’s shares were trading down about 4 percent mid-day Friday after the acquisition announcement.
Cell Targeting’s technology is based off research from Case Western Reserve University researchers Arnold Caplan and James Dennis.
Wagner will become the chief executive at OncoCyte, a subsidiary of BioTime. OncoCyte was formed in early 2009 to develop genetically modified stem cells capable of finding malignant tumors while carrying genes that can cause the destruction of the cancer cells. It has raised about $4 million in equity, according to a statement.
Wagner was Cell Targeting’s only full-time employee.
’Our acquisition of the assets of Cell Targeting is indicative of our plan to assemble a core of stem cell and related manufacturing technologies capable of enabling our development of a wide array of therapeutic products in the emerging field of regenerative medicine,’ said MichaelWest, the CEO of Alameda, Calif.-based BioTime.
BioTime specializes in two areas: stem cells for use in regenerative medicine and blood plasma volume expanders for use in surgery.
Toucan Capital invested $1 million in Cell Targeting and the company also has a piece of a $10 million state grant to develop its product.
Wagner said he’d continue living in Cleveland and occasionally commuting to California.