Two weeks ago our client, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), strengthened their position as a leader in the field of embryonic stem cell research when Geron, citing economic conditions, announced that it would shift its focus to developing the company’s later-stage oncology therapeutics and no longer pursue its human embryonic stem cell (hESC) programs. Geron and ACT were the first two companies to initiate clinical trials in the United States using hESCs.
ACT recently initiated the first-ever European clinical trial using stem cells, specifically using retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) derived from hESCs to treat Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy (SMD). Additionally, the company is currently conducting two Phase 1/2 clinical trials in the United States using hESC-derived RPE cells to treat SMD and dry age-related macular degeneration, respectively.
When Russo Partners received the news that Monday morning, we immediately sprang into action, knowing this was a key opportunity for ACT to control the company’s messages surrounding Geron’s announcement when the public would want to know what implications this industry shift would have on ACT’s clinical programs. We proactively reached out to the media, securing interviews with multiple top-tier outlets, as well as financial wires, scientific magazines and trade publications.
By speaking with the media, ACT was able to communicate core messages surrounding the announcement, including emphasizing the strengths of its ongoing hESC programs and the company’s future development plans. In addition, the company was able to provide insight into Geron’s decision as well as information about the stem cell space in general.
Below are links to sample coverage we secured for ACT following Geron’s news: