Feature | May 11, 2011

Terumo Acquires Point-of-Care Stem Cell Therapy Company


May 11, 2011 – In a sign that stem cell therapies for cardiovascular and peripheral artery disease may become mainstream treatments in coming years, Terumo entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Harvest Technologies Corp, which is working to commercialize the world's first point-of-care stem cell therapy.

Terumo Americas Holding Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Terumo Corp., announced this week it entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Harvest Technologies. The biotechnology company has developed a point-of-care technology that allows physicians to derive highly concentrated autologous, adult stem cells from their patients within 15 minutes.

The acquisition provides Terumo access to Harvest Technologies’ two medical device therapies that show promising benefits in optimizing the body's natural healing process. The SmartPReP2 APC+ system allows physicians to rapidly prepare highly concentrated, autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) enriched with growth factors to naturally stimulate the body's healing process for bone and soft tissue wounds. The SmartPReP 2 BMAC technology platform is a point-of-care device that requires 15 minutes to process and concentrate adult stem cells from a small aspirate of autologous bone marrow. Both applications have shown promising results in the treatment of cardiovascular and peripheral artery disease.

"Our existing relationship with Harvest Technologies Corporation, as a U.S. distributor of their PRP technology through Terumo Cardiovascular Systems made it a natural fit into our strategic plan for growth in the vascular industry," said Kazuaki Kitabatake, president and CEO, Terumo Americas Holding. "As a global leader in cardiovascular and peripheral treatment, Terumo Corporation recognizes the tremendous value in combining this potentially breakthrough technology, especially Harvest's SmartPReP 2 BMAC, with our comprehensive portfolio of vascular product solutions. We are committed to pursuing technologies that help to advance the medical industry and best meet the growing, specialized needs of the international physician and patient communities."

Harvest Technologies’ SmartPReP 2 BMAC is considered a potentially breakthrough technology because it can process and concentrate the cellular components from autologous bone marrow, including adult stem cells, within 15 minutes, while some concentration techniques require hours, or in some cases days, to prepare. The concentrate produced by this system has been documented to generate more total nucleated cells with enhanced viability that affect a desired outcome in animal models compared to concentrations obtained by using the most common laboratory methods described in successful clinical studies—while being significantly easier to implement and requiring half the amount of aspirate of bone marrow from the patient.

Harvest Technologies is focusing its initial commercialization efforts in Europe to support clinical research for the treatment of end-stage critical limb ischemia (CLI), a result of peripheral artery disease, which often leads to lower-limb amputation and increased patient morbidity and mortality rates. Harvest is also conducting a 42-patient pilot, randomized, controlled, safety cardiac study of its BMAC system in three U.S. medical centers. The BMAC product is injected into the patient's heart muscle during bypass surgery to study its safety and effectiveness in this patient population. Previous studies using similar techniques have shown clinical promise.

"Harvest Technologies Corporation is at the technological forefront of developing point-of-care systems that allow physicians to apply non-surgical approaches for difficult-to-treat diseases such as CLI," says Gary Tureski, president and CEO of Harvest Technologies. "Terumo Corporation has long been a global leader in medical device technology to treat vascular and peripheral disease. We are excited about the expanded opportunities this partnership will provide to both companies and look forward to advancing the standard of care for patients worldwide who suffer from these debilitating diseases."

For more information: www.terumo.com

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