For the first time, a study by Advanced Cell Technology (“ACT”; OTCBB: ACTC)
Dr. Steven Schwartz, a retina specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted the trial with two patients. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)
demonstrated the safety of the transplantation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) derived from retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) into patients. Additionally, the injected cells survived and continued to persist during the study period. Results were reported for two patients, the first in each of the Phase 1/2 clinical trials, and were published in The Lancet, representing an important milestone for the field of embryonic stem cell research.
A patient said her vision improved in a meaningful way after the treatment, which used embryonic stem cells. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)
In the study, patients with Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) were treated with ACT’s embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived cells. Both patients were legally blind, and both had measurable improvements in their vision that persisted for more than four months. No treatments currently exist for either indication.
Through extensive media outreach coordinated by Russo Partners, coverage of this announcement was secured across all levels of print and broadcast media, including top tier, national, international, newswire, trade and regional outlets.
Below are links to samples of media coverage of the announcement:
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
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Tagged Advanced Cell Technology, AFP, Associated Press, BBC News, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, Embryonic Stem Cells, FierceBiotech, hESC, Los Angeles Times, MedPage Today, Nature, New York Times, NPR, Reuters, Russo Partners, stem cells, The Lancet, The Scientist, The Telegraph, TIME, USA Today, WebMD
March was a big month for multiple Russo Partners clients in terms of clinical trial data presentations and announcements. Specifically:
Calixa Therapeutics, a San Diego start-up under the watch of investor Domain Associates and antibiotic development expert Dr. James Ge, reported positive Phase I results for a novel intravenous cephalosporin. The key to this compound is its performance against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes nasty infections and for which there is nothing today in drug companies’ pipelines. Calixa’s plans call for the quick entry into the clinic in a Phase II study of the compound.
Corthera, a San Mateo, Calif., company also backed by Domain Associates , enjoyed a strong showing at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session with the presentation of Phase II data for relaxin, which the company is developing for the treatment of acute heart failure. The study’s principal investigator, Dr. John Teerlink, presented the data on the main stage of the conference as part of a late-breaker abstract session. Not only did the promising data turn heads of the several hundred heart failure specialists in attendance, it caught the eye of Forbes‘ Matt Herper, who included relaxin and its interesting premise in a conference round-up.
Rounding out the m0nth, Cambridge, Mass.-based Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticalsannounced its complete data set for the Phase II study of radiopharmaceutical imaging agent Zemiva. The impressive results demonstrated the ability of Zemiva imaging, when combined with the initial clinical information obtained in emergency department assessments of patients, greatly improved sensitivity of detection compared to the assessments alone. Zemiva’s study results were captured in several articles by prominent news outlets, including Reuters.
The second quarter, with its full slate of medical conferences, is expected to be an active one in terms of additional clinical trial data presentations for Russo Partners’ clients. We’ll capture the findings in future posts.
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Tagged American College of Cardiology, antibiotics, Calixa Therapeutics, Corthera, Domain Associates, Forbes, ischemia, John Teerlink, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, relaxin, Reuters, Zemiva