June 12, 2014 — Capricor Therapeutics Inc. announced the execution of an Exclusive License Agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for intellectual property (IP) related to the development of exosomes. Exosome technology may have the potential to form the basis of a next generation therapeutic platform in regenerative medicine. Under the terms of the agreement, Capricor has been granted an exclusive worldwide license, with the right to sublicense, IP related to exosomes originating from cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs).
Cedars-Sinai research about the development of exosomes is published in the May issue of Stem Cell Reports, the official journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).
The licensed technology is based upon preclinical research led by Eduardo Marban, M.D., Ph.D, who is director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chairman of Capricor. As reported in the print issue of Stem Cell Reports, researchers showed that exosomes extracted from Capricor's CDCs prompted myocardial regeneration in pre-clinical models of ischemic heart disease. Further, the exosomes were shown to induce various structural and functional changes within the heart. These findings demonstrate for the first time that exosomes derived from CDCs possess regenerative capabilities and serve as proof of principle for their potential as therapeutic agents.
Released by nearly every cell type in the body and a vital mediator of cellular activities, exosomes are nano-sized, membrane-enclosed vesicles, or "bubbles," that are filled with select molecules, including proteins and microRNAs, which, when released, send messages to neighboring cells to regulate cellular functions. Exosomes act as the transport vehicle out of the cell for segments of genetic material and proteins that act as messengers between cells, ultimately providing regulatory function for many cell processes, including inflammation, angiogenesis, programmed cell death (apoptosis) and scarring. Research has shown that exogenous exosomes may be used as therapeutic agents aimed to direct or in some cases re-direct cellular activities. Their size, ease of crossing cell membranes and ability to communicate in native cellular language makes them a class of exciting and novel therapeutic agents.
Linda Marban, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Capricor Therapeutics, said, "Licensing the exosome portfolio from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is especially exciting because it allows Capricor to expand its regenerative medicine pipeline with a cell-free product platform that may have opportunities across various indications where inflammation, scarring, and cell death are part of the disease process. The unique properties of CDC-derived exosomes may allow us to develop novel cell-free therapeutics and expand our product portfolio. Though it is early in the development cycle, we are excited about this new platform technology. Capricor plans to explore development of the exosome technology as a next generation regenerative medicine platform in a variety of cardiovascular and non- cardiovascular areas."
For more information: www.capricor.com