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Substances from stem cells for the treatment of (neuro-) degenerative diseases

Organization name

TransMIT Gesellschaft für Technologietransfer mbH


The new active agents can be used to produce pharmaceutical  substances to be used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The substances are enriched with dying stem cells. The agents are suited to disable acute or delayed dysfunctions. They prevent the dying of neuronal cells after acute injuries or during the progress of neurodegenerative disorders.

Product description and business opportunities

The new active agents are especially interesting for companies involved in research and development of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as degenerative cardiovascular diseases and to be used after brain injuries, trauma or stroke.

Pre-clinical and clinical studies need to be performed in order to introduce a drug onto the market. Interested companies should be able to accomplish clinical studies by themselves or with corresponding partners.

Market, fields of applications and market trends

It is assumed that the prevalence of Alzheimer`s disease for the relevant patient population of the 65 years and older people will increase tremendously. According to a study by Frost &Sullivan it is expected that in the USA 2016 will be 5,7
million people suffering from Alzheimer´s disease. Currently only 30% of the concerned patients are treated, therefore there is a huge demand for new drugs on the market. Alzheimer´s disease is the third most expensive disease in the USA, one in seven deaths over all ages is due to this disease. In 2009 almost 3,6 billion USD were achieved with pharmaceuticals for the treatment of Alzheimer´s disease, the prediction for 2016 is estimated by 8,9 billion US Dollars,
corresponding to an annual growth rate of 14%. A similar pattern can be applied to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as to Parkinson’s. Currently there is no cure of this disease possible, only symptomatic treatment is performed. There is a medical requirement for new drugs. In 1996 the WHO estimated 3,5 million Parkinson’s cases worldwide, however the precise prevalence is discussed controversial. The fact remains, that 2008 a turnover of 970 million USD was achieved on the European market with drugs treating Parkinson’s disease.

Unique selling point

Presently for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease no satisfactory therapy exists. The currently available drugs for Alzheimer’s include in particular cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists, which maintain the cholinergic system or prevent the over-stimulation of glutamate,
respectively. Existing therapies have substantial disadvantages, because they are ineffective, due to the fact that the pathogenic mechanism of Alzheimer’s is not yet understood in detail. Therefore and because of the delayed progression of the disease, the development of new drugs is extremely difficult. Although it was shown that the intracerebral transplantation of neuronal stem cells or neural precursor cells in damaged or degenerated regions of the brain obtain protective effect in several models of neurodegenerative diseases and cause a structural regeneration, but only a small number of cells survive the process of transplantation.

Medications with neuroprotective effects are currently not available. Against this background, the new substances from stem cells provide the advantage of being easily accessible. Especially after enrichment and activation the substances show protective effects, which are suitable for the treatment of acute neuronal damage, neurodegenerative and / or cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the application of living cells as a tissue replacement or to be used to stimulate repair- and regeneration processes entails unmanageable risks, which do not occur when applying specified substances.

Status of product development

Conditioned medium obtained of dying stem cells was tested in vitro. A neuroprotective effect was assessed. Moreover, proteins with a neuro-protective effect were isolated from the conditioned medium and identified and characterized by
mass spectrometry. It was possible to increase the neuroprotective effect by using an activation method. In vivo experiments using suitable animal models are presently in preparation or have already taken place.

Patent status

The European priority applications were filed on May 2, 2012. The international PCT application is planned to be filed under the priority of the first filing until May 2, 2013.

Cooperation opportunities

TransMIT GmbH is searching for cooperation partners for the further development of the invention up to the routinely clinical application. The partners for distribution and production should be interested in activities in Europe, especially Germany, Asia, and USA.

Invitation for consultations with experts and market analysts

After signing a non-disclosure agreement the opportunity to consult the experts and scientists responsible for the product will be provided. Meetings with market analysts and innovation managers provide information about the new technology and arising business opportunities.

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