Press Release

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund Awards Two Year Grant to Fund Clinical MRI Cell Tracking Using Celsense Technology

May 23, 2013 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation has approved the recommendation of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission to fund 31 research projects in FY 2013. The approved research projects include a two year Exploratory Research Award that will track the fate of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) used to treat radiation necrosis following treatment for breast cancer in patients.

The Principal Investigator for this research project is Jeff W. M. Bulte, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology, Oncology, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Co-investigators for this study include Ricardo Rodriguez, MD, Paul Bottomley, Ph.D., Dara Kraitchman, VMD, Ph.D., and Katarzyna Macura, MD, Ph.D. The performance sites will be the medical campus of the JHU School of Medicine (Baltimore) and CosmeticSurg, Inc., a plastic surgery private practice in Lutherville, Maryland. Eric Ahrens, Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, Brooke Helfer, Ph.D. and Charlie O’Hanlon from Celsense, Inc., William Cimino, Ph.D. from the GID Group, and Dr. Mark Pittenger from Pearl Lifescience Partners LLC, will serve as consultants and collaborators in this study.

This is a clinical exploratory project aimed to visualize the biodistribution and cell survival of hADSCs that are injected in breast cancer patients. Currently, many patients who undergo a mastectomy in combination with radiotherapy present with Radiation Induced Fibrosis (RIF). RIF is characterized by hard fibrotic tissue, occasional non-healing ulcers, and sometimes painful nerve conditions. Presently there is no therapy to reverse RIF. A promising new advancement is the use of stem cells that are purified from autologous fat tissue derived from liposuction. Stem cells have been shown to home in on RIF tissue and heal RIF by restoring the tissues to their normal state. CosmeticSurg, Inc. has refined the procedure to purify hADSCs within a closed system in the operating room using the GID 700 tissue processing system.

In this study, the stem cells derived using the GID 700 system will be labeled with Cell Sense, an MRI tracer agent manufactured by Celsense, Inc. Following administration of the stem cells to the patient, the migration and persistence of the labeled cells will by tracked using MRI over a one month period. Data from this study will be used to optimize routes of administration and dosing for this promising treatment.

About The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund was established by the Maryland General Assembly, under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 (the “Stem Cell Act”), to promote State-funded human stem cell research and medical treatments through Grants to public and private entities in the State. The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (“the Commission”) sets policies and administers the MSCRF.

The primary goal of the MSCRF is to support research that will advance the field of regenerative medicine and generate human stem cell therapies to repair or replace missing, damaged, or diseased cells, tissues and organs.

The Commission has established several research funding mechanisms, including: Investigator-Initiated Research Grants, Exploratory Research Grants and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Research Grants. Only Applications involving the study of human stem cells shall be considered for funding.

About the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Johns Hopkins Medicine, a nonprofit, virtual enterprise, combines a 121-year commitment to community care with groundbreaking research, teaching and medical services to patients worldwide. The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the only hospital in history to have been ranked #1 in the nation for 21 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

About CosmeticSurg
CosmeticSurg is a private medical clinic specializing in plastic surgery procedures located in Lutherville, Maryland, founded by Ricardo Rodriguez, MD, FACC. Dr. Rodriguez is a Yale-trained Plastic Surgeon who has been practicing all aspects of Plastic Surgery for 25 years. His practice is now devoted to cosmetic procedures and stem cell clinical research. Dr. Rodriguez is past president of John Staige Davis Society of the Plastic Surgeons of Maryland, and is part-time Clinical Plastic Surgery Faculty at Johns Hopkins University.

About The GID Group
The GID Group, Inc. is a consortium of world-leading plastic surgeons, adipose tissue scientists, and seasoned entrepreneurial managers that use a deep science-based approach to create a reliable, cost-effective tissue processing platform that enables a broad range of therapies based on regenerative cells derived from human tissue.

About Pearl Lifescience Partners LLC
Pearl Lifescience Partners, LLC is engaged in the development of new vaccines against infectious enveloped viruses using bioengineered cell lines.

About Celsense
Celsense, Inc. develops and offers novel pre-clinical and clinical-grade products that enable the non-invasive imaging of cells in vivo using MRI. The company’s lead product Cell Sense is a patented fluorocarbon tracer agent used to safely and efficiently label cells ex vivo without the use of transfection agents. Cell Sense is the subject of a Drug Master File at US FDA and Health Canada, and is the only clinical grade MRI cell tracking reagent available in North America. Using software developed by Celsense, investigators can quantify the number of labeled cells in a user-specified region of interest. Celsense’s mission is to be the standard for cellular imaging in human health.

Contact Information:

Charlie O’Hanlon, President and CEO
Celsense, Inc.

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