Asymmetrex Founder’s Stem Cell Medicine Article Featured in CTA

by Asymmetrex on November 16, 2016

Advancing Stem Cell Medicine by Supplying Private Stem Cell Clinics

James Sherley, Asymmetrex, considers the potential benefits to stem cell medicine and stem cell science

Presently, in stem cell science and stem cell medicine, there exists a high degree of prejudice against private medical practices that offer stem cell treatments. When describing these private stem cell clinics, many reports written by disapproving stem cell scientists and stem cell medicine clinicians refer to the treating physicians as charlatans exploiting patients’ desperation and ignorance for money. Additionally, they’re regarded as unknowing pawns, themselves exploited by unsavory purveyors of poorly defined purported stem cell preparations. These reports warn that the supplied preparations may not only be ineffective, but they also may not contain any stem cells at all.

In contrast to this pejorative view held by well-known scientists and physicians in the field of stem cell biomedicine, many patients and patient advocate groups actively demand freedom for private stem cell clinics to operate without interference. The general sentiment being that regulatory agencies, like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might restrict private clinics from exploring potentially beneficial novel stem cell treatments.

One factor responsible for this opposing view by patients is impatience with the generally slow, often protracted, and highly expensive regulatory path that new medical treatments must travel before receiving approval for general use. But there is also a fundamental distinction at play that could be seen as giving considerable credence to patients’ call for unregulated operation of private stem cell clinics. That distinction is the difference in the core principles that motivate stem cell medicine versus those that motivate stem cell science.

To read the rest of the article click here.

Clinical Trials Arena is an editorial website that provides content as an educational resource to help address the key challenges in the global clinical trial space.

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Founder’s Stem Cell Medicine Article Featured in CTA

Asymmetrex and Zing Conferences Partner to Address Progress in Stem Cell Medicine

by Asymmetrex on October 25, 2016

Stem cell biotechnology start-up company Asymmetrex and not-for-profit scientific conference developer Zing Conferences have teamed up to provide a unique scientific forum for identifying and solving challenging problems that currently limit progress in stem cell biomedicine. Scheduled for February 18-21 in San Diego, California in the United States, the conference will feature invited presentations from prominent experts in the fields of stem cell biology and stem cell biomedicine and talks selected from abstracts for multidisciplinary research and clinical studies submitted by November 21.

Asymmetrex and Zing Conferences Partner to Address Progress in Stem Cell Medicine

At a recent pharmaceutical industry conference, the founder and director of biotech start-up Asymmetrex, James L. Sherley, asked a panel of noted investors, who were reviewing promising new pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies for investment, “What are the stem cell medicine companies on your radar screen for investment?” Silence followed. The silence was a telling indicator of the state of progress in stem cell medicine.

Although there are many companies and institutions seeking to develop therapeutics based on stem cells, new effective stem cell therapies are yet to join the half century of success by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapy, which includes bone marrow, cord blood, and mobilized peripheral blood treatments. Instead, there is a growing mountain of failed efforts, which in many cases have occurred after significant hype.

Many important discoveries in stem cell biology have occurred in the last two decades, but, so far, they have not translated into effective new approved therapies. In more recent years, reports of stem cell treatments in private clinics have mushroomed, but the general applicability of these procedures is uncertain, at best; and possibly, they may not be reliable at all. In both cases, approved and unregulated, many basic barriers preclude faster progress in stem cell medicine. Examples of barriers include deficient biological knowledge, stem cell technical barriers, treatment logistics barriers, regulatory barriers, and financing barriers.

During nearly nine years of leading adult tissue stem cell bioengineering research as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Asymmetrex director Sherley’s focus was engineering solutions for difficult problems in stem cell biomedicine. Asymmetrex’s technologies that address the technical challenges of identifying, counting, and producing adult tissue stem cells reflect this bearing and expertise. Sherley believes that “success in solving tough problems in science and medicine begins with first recognizing problems and then facing the essentiality of solving them.”

In April 2015, Sherley was approached with an opportunity to share his focus on problem solving more widely with the field of stem cell medicine. Jane Hill, CEO of Zing Conferences invited him to organize a conference in the discipline of stem cell biomedicine. “Challenges, Solutions, and Progress in Stem Cell Medicine” is the product of that invitation.

Fifteen noted experts in diverse scientific, engineering, and medical disciplines relevant to stem cell medicine accepted invitations as featured speakers for the conference. Together, they will set the agenda for recognizing, facing, and discussing possible solutions for long-standing problems in stem cell biology and stem cell medicine. The preeminent hematopoietic stem cell physician scientist Peter Quesenberry, M.D. will intrigue conference goers with a keynote address emphasizing that even the paragon of stem cell transplantation medicine, bone marrow transplantation, still has unsolved problems that keep it from its full potential.

In addition to the invited presentations, many talks will be selected from submitted abstracts of attendees that detail important problems and solutions. These presentations are anticipated to resonate with the invited topics, as well as introduce new insights that may have not yet entered the broader consciousness of the field. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 21.

Unlike many scientific conference production companies that have emerged in the past twenty years, Zing Conferences recently became a not-for-profit. Proceeds from the conference organized with Asymmetrex will be used to support conference speaker travel needs, be applied to assist in increasing the demographic diversity of conference participants, and provide funds for biomedical research. In their partnership, both Asymmetrex and Zing Conferences achieve their goal of developing a unique scientific forum that will mingle investigators of diverse background and discipline towards an integration that may prove essential to achieving more rapid advances in stem cell medicine.

About Asymmetrex

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop and market facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in stem cell transplantation treatments and in pre-clinical assays for drug safety.

 

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex and Zing Conferences Partner to Address Progress in Stem Cell Medicine

CEOCFO Magazine Features Asymmetrex’s ‘Revolutionary New Technology’

by Asymmetrex on October 3, 2016

Asymmetrex Director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. had a one-on-one interview with the senior editor of CEOCFO Magazine about Asymmetrex and the AlphaSTEM Test. CEOCFO Magazine is a weekly publication that produces in-depth interviews with several top corporate executives.

The interview goes into detail about the science behind the AlphaSTEM Test and why counting stem cells is important and crucial to the progression of stem cell transplant therapies, drug development, and stem cell medicine.

CEOCFO: Dr. Sherley, the tagline on your Asymmetrex website is technologies for stem cell medicine. What are you working on now?  

Dr. Sherley: Our lead product that we are working on now, that has actually completed development and we are now marketing, is a new technology for counting adult tissue stem cells. Well call it the AlphaSTEM Test.

CEOCFO: Why do we need to count them? Would give us a little context?

Dr. Sherley: If you think about the way we have done drug development and drug use since the beginning of medicine, we do it by knowing the amount of the agent that we are giving to the patient. We know the dose. If you think about any medications that you currently take, you take a certain number of milligrams and that dose information is giving you the information about how many of those drug molecules you are getting…

To read the entire interview click here.

 

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AsymmetrexCEOCFO Magazine Features Asymmetrex’s ‘Revolutionary New Technology’

AlphaSTEM Technology Highlighted as a 2016 New Product by Science

by Asymmetrex on September 28, 2016

Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM Test technology is featured in Science, the magazine, as a new product for 2016.

Science is one of the most widely read scientific journals in the world, publishing some of the best research and articles across sciences. Here is what Science said in the feature about the AlphaSTEM Test:

Since the beginnings of mammalian tissue stem cell biology, counting has been the bane of both basic research and clinical stem cell studies. Biomarkers, such as CD34 and CD133, do not identify tissue stem cells with sufficient specificity for counting them. Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM technology, developed with AlphaSTAR Corporation, provides precise determinations of the number…

To read the rest of the feature click here.

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AsymmetrexAlphaSTEM Technology Highlighted as a 2016 New Product by Science

Asymmetrex Announces New Adult Tissue Stem Cell Counting Contract Service at BioPharm America 2016

by Asymmetrex on September 27, 2016

 

Recently at BioPharm America 2016 in Boston, September 13-15, biotech start-up company Asymmetrex announced its new AlphaSTEM Test contract service for counting adult tissue stem cells. In addition to applications for pharmaceutical drug evaluations, the company highlighted applications of the new service for stem cell medicine, gene and gene-editing therapeutics, and general stem cell biomedical research.

Asymmetrex Announces a New Adult Tissue Stem Cell Counting Contract Service to Pharmaceutical and Stem Cell Medical Companies at BioPharm America 2016 in Boston

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Boston-based start-up company whose three years of existence are benchmarked by yearly attendance to BioPharm America conferences in Boston. A signature feature of BioPharm conferences is pre-arranged one-on-one meetings primarily among pharma companies, pharma investors, and pharma suppliers. In addition, there are workshops for new companies to hone their business pitch skills, to gain knowledge of reigning and emerging industry trends, and to give presentations of their business vision and progress.

For the past three years, while developing the first technology able to count adult tissue stem cells, Asymmetrex Director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. has attended BioPharm America in Boston to update the company’s progress, increase its visibility, and extend its business network. In 2014, the company’s new AlphaSTEM Test technology was largely a concept that existed only as computer models of a new computational simulation method for counting adult tissue stem cells. In 2015, Sherley shared with conference participants experimental data to validate the company’s 2014 projections. In the 2016 conference, he announced that the company is now actively recruiting clients for a new adult tissue stem cell counting contract service.

Pharmaceutical companies are a major client group targeted for the new service. By counting tissue stem cells, drug candidates that are stem cell-toxic can be identified by the new AlphaSTEM Test service. Stem cell-toxic drugs cause chronic organ failure, which accounts for an estimated half of drug failures due to safety concerns. Currently, induction of chronic organ failure is detected by animal studies and clinical trials. Deployment of the AlphaSTEM Test service would identify such ill-fated drug candidates earlier and at a greatly reduced cost. Asymmetrex estimates that widespread adoption of its new contract service could save the U.S. pharmaceutical industry $4-5 billion each year.

A second major application for the new contract service is the determination of adult tissue stem cell dose. In current stem cell treatments, whether in unregulated private clinics, or in approved therapies like bone marrow stem cell and cord blood stem cell transplantation, or in FDA-approved clinical trials, the dose of the treating stem cells is unknown. Asymmetrex Director Sherley expressed to BioPharm America 2016 participants that the lack of stem cell dose data is an unmet need that is stifling progress in stem cell science and stem cell medicine. Sherley envisioned that, “By BioPharm America 2017, rapid adoption of Asymmetrex’s new tissue stem cell counting service could begin a revolution of change not only in how stem cell medicine is performed, but also in how it is regarded.” In a recent interview with Clinical Trials Arena, Sherley discussed the essential elements of this advance in anticipation of addressing an upcoming November Summit on Preclinical Development Operations in Boston.

About Asymmetrex

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop and market facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in stem cell transplantation treatments and in pre-clinical assays for drug safety.

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Announces New Adult Tissue Stem Cell Counting Contract Service at BioPharm America 2016

Asymmetrex is Featured in Clinical Trials Arena Article

by Asymmetrex on September 22, 2016

James Sherley, Director, Asymmetrex, talks to CTA to discuss a disruptive innovation that could change stem cell research

Previously in scientific research, there has been no way to count tissue stem cells, due to its difficulty. Experts over the years have lamented the lack of available technology, resigning themselves to not being able to resolve that problem.

But is that about to change?

James Sherley is the founder and director of Asymmetrex, an adult stem cell biotechnology start-up company. As the developer of AlphaSTEM Technology – a product that counts tissue stem cells – Sherley has been able to achieve a method that hasn’t been possible for 50 years.

In this compelling interview, Sherley sits down with CTA to explain how AlphaSTEM could mark a paradigmatic shift in stem cell and clinical research.

To read the rest of the article click here!

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex is Featured in Clinical Trials Arena Article

Asymmetrex Says to Intellia Therapeutics, “Don’t Forget the Stem Cells. Call Us”

by Asymmetrex on August 23, 2016

The biotech medicine world has been waiting to hear from new gene-editing companies exactly how they will go about turning the highly touted research advance into an effective medical advance. If reports about gene-editing company Intellia Therapeutics’ plan are any indication of the approach that will be taken, there is a rocky road ahead for sure.

Intellia seems to be following the approach of companies like Alnylam by focusing first on getting efficient transfer of their gene-editing machines into liver cells.  This approach has worked well so far for Alnylam in early clinical trials designed to reduce the levels of disease-causing proteins by blocking their production with RNAi molecules.  However, Intellia seems to be overlooking a very fundamental difference between Alnylam’s RNAi drugs and Intellia’s gene-editing “drugs.”

Alnylam’s drugs work directly in mature liver cells.  If they need repeated dosing, there is nothing inherent in their action that would preclude continued dosing for a patient’s lifetime.  In contrast, Intellia would be quite concerned if they needed to do multiple dosing because their gene-editing machines could make quite a bit of trouble, even potentially disrupting earlier edits.  But, Intellia is reporting now because they are quite pleased by how effective their molecular machines seem to be at editing a targeted gene expressed abundantly by mature liver cells.

Here at Asymmetrex, we were looking for one more crucial piece of information for Intellia.  Intellia does not report how long the editing effect lasts.  If they have only targeted mature liver cells, it will not last for long.  In about 200 days, ALL of the mature cells in the liver are replaced by new mature cells produced by the division of liver tissue stem cells.  If the liver is injured (e.g., by other medicines, dietary toxins, or infection), the replacement of mature liver cells can be even faster.  So, to achieve long lasting gene-editing therapy and avoid the need for undesirable multiple dosing, Intellia must put its gene-editing machines into liver tissue stem cells.  Alnylam’s drugs don’t have this requirement.

The liver has one of the highest estimated stem cell fractions.  But, still, only about one in 250 cells are estimated to be stem cells.  So, getting a high fraction of them edited is a certain challenge in the future of Intellia.  Since there are no specific markers reported that would allow targeting gene-editing machines to liver stem cells and not mature liver cells, the road ahead is even rockier.  However, there is one company that has a path to the discovery of such markers, which may be crucial to Intellia’s success. Asymmetrex is waiting for their call. 

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Says to Intellia Therapeutics, “Don’t Forget the Stem Cells. Call Us”

Asymmetrex Offers Contract Service For Counting Adult Tissue Stem Cells

by Asymmetrex on August 23, 2016

During the fall regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical conference seasons, Boston biotechnology company Asymmetrex, LLC will announce its new contract service for counting adult tissue stem cells. In three different conference venues, the company will relate how its new AlphaSTEM Test service can provide, for the first time, stem cell dose data for stem cell treatments and provide early identification of drug candidates destined to fail in clinical trials because they are toxic to tissue stem cells.

At its company website, Asymmetrex has reported data showing its success in determining the number of stem cells from three different types of human tissues, including bone marrow, liver, and lungs. The stem cell counting technology is based on computer simulation analyses of basic cell count data. Recent refinements in the software allow Asymmetrex to also determine tissue stem cell number using published cell count data from human tissue cell cultures. This new capability will allow the company to rapidly increase its experience with counting stem cells in many different human tissues. Most recently, this approach has been used to estimate the number of tissue stem cells in amniotic fluid cell preparations for first time.

The AlphaSTEM Test is also a powerful new tool for the pharmaceutical industry. Now being able to monitor the effects of drug candidates on stem cell number and function, it is possible to identify stem cell-toxic drugs in relatively inexpensive cell culture formats. Stem cell-toxic drugs cause chronic organ failure in animals and people. The new Asymmetrex service can provide significant savings to pharmaceutical companies by earlier identification of stem cell-toxic drugs that will fail later in animal studies and clinical trials, which are much more expensive. Estimates suggest that such failures cost the U.S. pharmaceutical industry 4 to 5 billion dollars each year.

This fall, Asymmetrex will introduce its new stem cell counting contract service to important industry audiences in three different conference forums. Two of the conferences will take place in Boston. The third is a global web-based conference. The web conference, organized by Euroscicon Life Sciences Events, addresses “Moving Forward With Stem Cell Therapy.” Scheduled for September 6-8, it is the first live-streamed only, three day professional conference to discuss cellular therapies. Asymmetrex founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss how the ability to count tissue stem cells will change forever the practice of stem cell medicine and tissue stem cell research.

Director Sherley will give a second presentation at BioPharm America 2016 that occurs September 13-15. In addition, to giving a talk on the new AlphaSTEM Test service, he has invited representatives from more than 70 pharmaceutical companies to join him in one-on-one meetings to learn about the new technology and how it can significantly improve their bottom lines each year.

A third presentation will be made at a new addition to the clinical trials conference landscape. The Arena International 1st Annual Preclinical Development Operations Summit will take place in Boston November 15-16. In addition to introducing Asymmetrex’s new tissue stem counting contract service, Director Sherley will discuss how beginning now to implement stem cell counting procedures in preclinical development operations for regenerative medicine will prepare companies for an inevitable future of the FDA mandating stem cell dosing data.

“Asymmetrex has the good fortune of having developed a technology whose time is now.” Director Sherley refers to current increased attention to some new and some longstanding challenges in stem cell medicine. The FDA is under increasing pressure to do something about now hundreds, and maybe thousands, of stem cell treatment clinics that inject patients without knowing the number or quality of stem cells. However, FDA-approved clinical trials are allowed to proceed, even though they also lack the same crucial information. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently launched a program to develop new technologies for standardizing cell measurements. First in the U.K. and now in the U.S., there are new initiatives by drug regulation agencies to reduce the number of animals used for drug evaluations. Worldwide there are many hundreds of thousands of banked umbilical cord blood samples that contain blood stem cells needed to treat diseases like childhood leukemia; but there is no method in use to determine the stem cell potency of these potentially life saving cells.

In the scheduled fall forums, Director Sherley will discuss with these three diverse industry audiences how Asymmetrex’s new AlphaSTEM Test contract service is the solution for each of these challenges, which they currently face daily.

About Asymmetrex

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop and market facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in stem cell transplantation treatments and in pre-clinical assays for drug safety.

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Offers Contract Service For Counting Adult Tissue Stem Cells

New Volume on Human Stem Cell Toxicology Debuts Today

by Asymmetrex on August 11, 2016

Asymmetrex Director Edits Newly Released Book on Human Stem Cell Toxicology

 

Today, August 11, 2016, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing in the UK released a new volume that is a first scholarly treatment of the emerging research and medical discipline of human stem cell toxicology. The 175 years old organization, which is the oldest chemical society in the world, enlisted Dr. James L. Sherley, the founder and director of Asymmetrex, LLC in the US, to develop and edit the new text.

Human Stem Cell Toxicology debuts today from the revered publishing house of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom. As a first publication of a collection of scholarly treatments of this increasingly important topic in environmental health sciences and stem cell medicine, the new book meets very well the RSC standard of advancing excellence in the chemical sciences, including related fields like biology and medicine. The new volume is an unparalleled collection of scholarly exposés, written by leading international experts, selected to highlight the essential challenges, recent progress, and future vision of the emerging field of toxicology for human tissue stem cells.

RSC contracted Asymmetrex director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. to develop and edit the new volume. Sherley, who has multidisciplinary research expertise in stem cell biology, stem cell bioengineering, environmental toxicology, and medicine, was well suited for the endeavor. He relates, “The opportunity to create and edit Human Stem Cell Toxicology allowed me to realize a research goal of establishing a more granular appreciation of stem cell biology in the context of environmental toxicology and medicine.” Sherley hopes that readers of the new volume will no longer stammer with uncertainty over the proper use of the terms “stem cell” versus “progenitor cell” versus “stem/progenitor cell.” Although the book’s chapters include significant contents of original research, their explicative introduction, background, discussion sections integrate to provide an effective textbook and reference for students and experts of the discipline, respectively.

Everyone knows fairly well that tissue stem cells are crucial for good health. But this understanding is mostly grounded by the concept that when stem cells go awry, disease and illness result. The other side of this coin of understanding is not as widely appreciated. It is that things that harm tissue stem cells will be harbingers of disease and even death. This second perspective is the province of human stem cell toxicology.

A guiding principle of Human Stem Cell Toxicology is the recognition that the same research challenges that slow progress in stem cell medicine also slow progress in developing needed stem cell toxicology applications. These long-standing unmet research challenges are difficulty producing tissue stem cells and difficulty quantifying tissue stem cells, which are essential advances needed to engineer new tests for investigating and evaluating stem cell toxicity.

The authors in Human Stem Cell Toxicology present innovative strategies for achieving new stem cell toxicity tests that can resolve the main application needs of the field. These applications include identifying hazardous toxicants and toxins in the environment, screening out toxic drug candidates during pharmaceutical drug development, and discovery of drugs for eradicating unwanted tissue stem cells like cancer stem cells.

The new volume also holds some surprises for the world of human toxicology. Although grounded in the core principles of toxicology, examples of surprises include the introduction of new concepts like “kinetoxicity;” introduction of both direct and indirect mechanisms by which toxins and toxicants disrupt normal tissue stem cell function; and the disclosure of the toxicology of a recently discovered new type of tissue stem cell that exhibits remarkable toxicity from commonly used, and even household, medicines. Perhaps, most surprising is the absence of any description of Asymmetrex’s newest technology that solves the tissue stem cell quantification problem to enable a new assay for identifying tissue stem cell-toxic drug candidates. Sherley jokes, “I’m saving that for Human Stem Cell Toxicology II!”

About Asymmetrex

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop and market facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in stem cell transplantation treatments and in pre-clinical assays for drug safety.

BOSTON, MA (PRWEB) AUGUST 11, 2016

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AsymmetrexNew Volume on Human Stem Cell Toxicology Debuts Today