Osiris Therapeutics and Genzyme formed a partnership to address countermeasures to nuclear terrorism and other radiological emergencies. The initial focus of the collaboration will be to develop Osiris’ Prochymal™, a formulation of adult stem cells derived from bone marrow, to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
"After an extensive evaluation of the indication, product, and process, we are properly positioned to launch this major new initiative," says C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., president and CEO of Osiris. "Our scientists recognized an opportunity to efficiently enter this new market by leveraging the significant overlap that exists between our ongoing development activities for Prochymal and the requirements demanded of an ARS product."
Prochymal is currently in Phase III trials for the treatment of GvHD and Crohn's disease and has demonstrated preliminary efficacy in the treatment of patients experiencing first-time heart attacks. These trials have shown Prochymal's potential to reverse cellular damage and improve survival in disease states similar to ARS, the companies point out.
Osiris and Genzyme will work together on the development and purchase agreements made with U.S. and allied governmental agencies. Genzyme is entitled to receive royalties on Prochymal, limited to those sales made under this contract.