Healthcare Industry News:  cord blood 

Regenerative Medicine Cardiology

 News Release - June 13, 2006

ViaCell Announces Cardiac Collaboration with Centocor Research and Development, Inc.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 13 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- ViaCell, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAC ) announced today the signing of a cardiac collaboration agreement with the Stem Cell Internal Venture (SCIV) of Centocor Research and Development, Inc. to evaluate ViaCell's proprietary cord blood-derived multi-potent stem cells as a potential treatment for cardiac disease in preclinical testing. The collaboration is also supported by the Biologics Delivery Systems Group of Cordis Corporation and will focus on dosing, delivery and targeting of ViaCell's expanded proprietary cord blood stem cells using Cordis' NOGA delivery system. Centocor and Cordis are both Johnson & Johnson companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, ViaCell will receive an initial up-front payment and the companies will share costs associated with the collaborative efforts. In addition, the agreement provides SCIV with the first right to negotiate a collaboration with ViaCell on the clinical development and commercialization of a cardiac product offering based on ViaCell's proprietary cord blood stem cells. If the preclinical data support further development, ViaCell expects to file an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) in 2007.

"We are delighted to be working with Centocor to advance our cardiac cell therapy program," stated Marc D. Beer, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our goal is to demonstrate the ability to deliver ViaCell's cells with the NOGA XP device in order to file an IND and move this program into clinical testing. We believe the commitment behind this program further supports the potential medical value of cord blood to treat cardiac diseases."

"I believe cell therapy has great potential to improve patient care following a heart attack or in treating congestive heart failure. ViaCell has demonstrated functional improvement in multiple preclinical models which gives me greater excitement about the prospects for the robust functional studies with the Cordis NOGA delivery system and the potential for moving this product to clinical development," said Emerson C. Perin, M.D., Ph.D., Director, New Interventional Cardiovascular Technology at Texas Heart Institute. "With over four million Americans affected by these heart problems, there is an enormous medical need to develop a novel treatment to regenerate the heart and I believe cell therapy offers the best opportunity to change the paradigm in treating this serious disease."

About ViaCell, Inc.

ViaCell is a biotechnology company focused on enabling the widespread use of human cells as medicine. The Company is developing a pipeline of proprietary stem cell product candidates intended to address cancer, cardiac disease, and diabetes. CB001, its lead cord blood derived stem cell therapy product candidate, is being developed for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients affected by a variety of cancers. In addition to its therapeutic development programs, ViaCell's Reproductive Health Business commercializes ViaCord®, a product that offers expecting families the option of preserving their baby's umbilical cord blood. The Company is working to leverage its commercial infrastructure and product development capabilities by developing ViaCyte(SM), its investigational product intended to broaden reproductive choices for women through the cryopreservation of human unfertilized eggs. ViaCell is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a processing and storage facility in Kentucky and additional research and development operations in Singapore. Additional information about ViaCell is available online at http://www.viacellinc.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding ViaCell's research collaboration with Centocor including statements regarding the potential for cell therapy and ViaCell's cord blood stem cells in the treatment of cardiac disease and expectations regarding the research and development program. Such statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's current beliefs and expectations. Drug development involves a high degree of risk. ViaCell's cardiac cell therapy program is at an early stage of development. There can be no assurance that the companies' joint research efforts will be successful or that the results of any of the contemplated research studies will be sufficient to support further efforts or ultimately filing an IND. Success of ViaCell's development program in this area could be negatively impacted by, among other factors, data that arises from research activities, technical hurdles, intellectual property concerns or requirements raised by regulatory authorities. For more information on the risks and uncertainties associated with the Company and its products and programs, see the factors set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2006 which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and which factors are incorporated herein by reference. ViaCell does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

ViaCell® and ViaCord® are federally registered trademarks and ViaCyte(SM) is a service mark of ViaCell, Inc.


Source: ViaCell

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