Transhumanist Company: Dr. Michael West and BioTime Inc.
“There have been several revolutions in biotechnology that open the door to many new products and technologies. The first, recombinant DNA technology, allowed researchers for the first time to “cut-and-splice” DNA in any way they wished, thereby making it possible to assemble genes in new ways to manufacture a host of proteins like insulin, growth hormone, and erythropoietin.
The second revolution was called genomics and this technology allowed researchers to rapidly sequence and manipulate gene sequence information. Both recombinant DNA technology and genomics spawned the development and growth of many of today’s leading biotechnology companies.
In our opinion, regenerative medicine has the potential to be a third major revolution in biotechnology. Empowered by the discovery of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, regenerative medicine now has the potential to produce any human cell type genetically modified in any way, to be used in the treatment of a host of degenerative diseases. Stem cells may also have commercial uses in the development of experimental new drugs. Under the leadership of Dr. Michael D. West, who pioneered this industry after he founded Geron Corporation and later during his tenure at Advanced Cell Technology, BioTime intends to become a significant biotechnology company in this emerging sector, focusing on near-term commercialization opportunities.”
“Our research and development is focused on developing new therapeutics for age-related degenerative disease. Through our subsidiary companies Cell Cure Neurosciences, OncoCyte, and OrthoCyte, we are developing OpRegen® (a cell-based therapy for age-related macular degeneration), therapies for cancer, and arthritis, respectively. Our subsidiary ReCyte Therapeutics is using proprietary technology to reverse the developmental aging of human cells to manufacture young vascular progenitors for the treatment of age-related vascular disease.
Relatively near-term product development by BioTime and its subsidiaries include Renevia™, a patented hyaluronan-based hydrogel device for cell delivery, and PanC-Dx™, a blood-based pan-cancer screening diagnostic.
BioTime also markets an FDA-approved blood plasma expander called Hextend®, which is currently marketed in the United States in collaboration with Hospira and in South Korea under an agreement with CJ Corporation.”
“Using proprietary technology, we have also developed research- and clinical-grade human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines that we market to researchers, scientists, universities, and companies. Our subsidiary ES Cell International (ESI) has developed six hES cell lines that are among the best-characterized and documented lines available today. These lines were developed using current Good Manufacturing Processes enabling easy transition into the clinic, and they are extensively characterized with documented and publicly available genomic sequences. These cell lines have also been approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and are included in the NIH Stem Cell Registry. The ESI hES cell lines are available for sale through BioTime.
We also market clonal hES-derived embryonic progenitor (hEP) cells for research purposes developed using ACTCellerate™ technology. We have derived >200 diverse hEP cell types with a wide array of applications research, drug discovery, and human regenerative stem cell therapies. Finally, BioTime’s HyStem hydrogels represent a core enabling technology for regenerative medicine and cellular delivery, and are also used by researchers worldwide in tissue engineering, 2D and 3D cell culture, and a range of cutting-edge disease models.”
BioTime was incorporated in the state of California in 1990 and is a publicly traded company listed on the NYSE MKT stock exchange under the symbol BTX. Our headquarters are located in Alameda, California. We also have subsidiary offices located in Singapore, China, and Israel.
He received his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1989 concentrating on the biology of cellular aging. He has focused his academic and business career on the application of developmental biology to the age-related degenerative disease. He was the Founder of Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California (Nasdaq: GERN) and from 1990 to 1998 he was a Director, and Vice President, where he initiated and managed programs in telomerase diagnostics, oligonucleotide-based telomerase inhibition as anti-tumor therapy, and the cloning and use of telomerase in telomerase-mediated therapy wherein telomerase is utilized to immortalize human cells.
From 1995 to 1998 he organized and managed the research collaboration between Geron and its academic collaborators James Thomson and John Gearhart that led to the first isolation of human embryonic stem and human embryonic germ cells. From 1998 to 2007 he was President and Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB: ACTC) where he managed programs in animal cloning, human somatic cell nuclear transfer, retinal differentiation, and ACTCellerate, a technology for the multiplex derivation and characterization of clonal human embryonic progenitor cell lines.”
Papers and Publications
“The phrase ‘immortality of species’ refers to the fact that while the individual organism ages and dies, the species itself has the potential to regenerate new individuals indefinitely. Put simply, while any one zebra in Africa may die, there are always more, and they always look more or less the same. Years ago, my mentor Dr. Samuel Goldstein handed me the picture shown below of a young girl, her mother, her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother’s mother.”
Read the full essay here: http://michaelwest.org/species.htm
Dr. West’s full set of academic publications may be found here: http://michaelwest.org/papers.htm
Visualization and Sonification
“The clock of human cellular aging resides in the telomeres, the structures seen artificially illuminated here at the ends of the chromosomes. In the same manner that a fuse can act as a timing device, so the length of these structures set at the embryonic stages of life set the replicative lifespan of human body cell types.”
BioTime Video Presentations of Interest
Introduction to BioTime –
Michael West, Ph.D.
OrthoCyte’s HyStem Family of Products
– William Tew, Ph.D.
CellCure Nerosciences –
Charles Irving, Ph.D.
OncoCyte – Joseph Wagner, Ph.D.
and Karen Chapman, Ph.D.
Arnold I. Caplan, Ph.D.
ReCyte Therapeutics – Steven Kessler,
Ph.D and Shahin Rafii, M.D.
LifeMap Sciences –
David Warshawsky, Ph.D.
Development of HyStem®: Part 1 — Glenn Prestwich, Ph.D.
Development of HyStem®: Parts 2 & 3 — Glenn Prestwich, Ph.D.
Product Development Update:
Product Development Update: Renevia(TM)
OrthoCyte’s CSO Dr. Arnold Caplan Discusses Product Development
Discussion of Glycosan Acquisition and use of Hydrogels in Tissue Engineering
OrthoCyte’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Arnold Caplan – cartilage biology
Images from www.michaelwest.org, used with permission.