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

Asymmetrex Continues to Court Gene-Editing Companies

by Asymmetrex on April 28, 2016

Asymmetrex continues to court gene-editing companies; Editas Medicine, Intellia Therapeutics, and CRISPR Therapeutics to name a few.  Asymmetrex wants to dance with these companies into the new era of gene-editing therapeutics.  Asymmetrex started pursuing them late in 2015.  Today, the company announced that it would begin courting the companies’ scientists at conferences focused on gene-editing research and progress to clinical trials.  Asymmetrex holds keys to two locks that currently bar the door to efficient and efficacious gene-editing.  In order for gene-editing therapy to work, the DNA-editing must be performed in rare and hard to quantify tissue stem cells.  Asymmetrex’s patented SACK technology can increase the number of targeted tissue stem cells, making their editing more efficient.  Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM technology will allow gene editors to determine whether sufficient tissue stem cells are present for effective editing and whether sufficient tissue stem cells have been edited for stable, efficacious therapy.  Although it is a Sadie Hawkins Day affair at the moment, Asymmetrex is looking forward to these companies wanting to sign its dance card soon.


Asymmetrex Continues Efforts to Raise Awareness of the Importance of Tissue Stem Cell Counting for Advancing Gene-Editing Therapeutics

At a conference on May 4-5, Boston stem cell medicine technology start-up Asymmetrex will target gene-editing scientists directly for relating the importance of incorporating the company’s stem cell counting technology into their work to develop new genetic therapies. The company will also discuss its technologies for expanding natural adult tissue stem cells, which are a rate-limiting factor for successful gene-editing therapeutics.

BOSTON, MA (PRWEB) APRIL 28, 2016

Next week on May 5 at 2:55 pm (EDT), Asymmetrex will deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to gene-editing scientists and other attendees at the 2016 Meeting on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The attention of most gene-editing scientists appears to be focused primarily on well-considered challenges in the DNA-editing technology itself. These are now widely appreciated. They include the usual metrics of the quality of engineered processes: efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, precision, and reliability. They also include the all-worrisome unknown unknowns of human biology that may not show up until later in treated patients. However, technological improvements continuously reduce the concern about known challenges, with the expectation that very soon the FDA will accept the first gene-editing clinical trials.

Asymmetrex has its attention on a challenge to gene-editing therapy that becomes important once DNA-editing technology itself is ready for application. This additional challenge is related to the special role of adult tissue stem cells in gene-editing therapy.

Tissue stem cells are the only cells in the body that are long-lived in tissues and organs – on the timescale of the human lifespan – and maintain an open DNA blueprint for cell multiplications that replenish mature functional organ and tissue cells without loss of stem cells. In contrast, mature tissue cells function for only a short period of time – on the order of days to weeks – before they die. Upon dying, they are either sloughed off or reabsorbed followed by disintegration and recycling of their components. So, for effective gene-editing therapy, the editing must take place in the DNA blueprint of tissue stem cells.

All the challenges that stem cells present to stem cell medicine rear-up their problematic heads in gene-editing therapeutics, too. These are scarcity, impurity, difficulty identifying, difficulty counting, and difficulty producing in larger number. Gene-editing companies have tried to get around these problems by engineering molecular vectors that are very efficient at getting into cells and performing gene-editing. But even these strategies would improve significantly with larger numbers of stem cells for editing and knowing the number of stem cells edited.

The ability to expand tissue stem cells and count them, for the first time, is what Asymmetrex can bring to the gene-editing effort. James Sherley, founder and director of Asymmetrex, will give the presentation on May 5. Sherley has contacted some chief executives of gene-editing companies, but he says, “This is a bunch of very focused CEOs! But the first ones to give attention to our technologies for expanding and counting tissue stem cells are going to gain quite an advantage.”

Asymmetrex’s SACK technology employs natural cellular metabolites to induce adult tissue stem cells to multiply exponentially. Its more recently developed AlphaSTEM technology for counting adult tissue stem cells was pioneered with partner AlphaSTAR Corporation. In addition to gene-editing therapeutics, these technologies have many other potential applications in stem cell medicine and drug development. Examples include counting the number of hematopoietic stem cells in umbilical cord blood transplants used for treatment of childhood leukemia and early detection of drug candidates that would later cause organ failure due to tissue stem cell toxicity.

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 facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in clinically important human tissues.

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Continues to Court Gene-Editing Companies

Asymmetrex Renews Efforts to Help Gene-Editing Companies

by Asymmetrex on April 13, 2016

Asymmetrex Renews Efforts to Help Gene-Editing Companies

Asymmetrex Director James L. Sherley is back to chasing gene-editing companies again.  With the recent announcement of gene-editing company Intellia Therapeutics’ plans to IPO soon, Sherley is even more determined to make sure that gene-editing companies fully appreciate the advantages that Asymmetrex’s technologies for adult tissue stem cells can provide for them.  In order for gene-editing treatments to be stable, the editing must occur in adult tissue stem cells.  Other tissue cell types do not persist in the body long enough to provide permanent cures.  Asymmetrex has recently discussed the importance of being able to count targeted adult tissue stem cells to achieve more efficient gene-editing and to ensure that patients receive gene-edited tissue stem cells. Today, Asymmetrex fired off a series of four tweets to alert Intellia Therapeutics, Editas Medicine, Crispr Therapeutics, and Caribou Biosciences to its SACK technologies for expanding a variety of adult tissue stem cells in culture, including liver (relevant to reports from Intellia), blood, pancreas, and hair follicle stem cells. The more adult tissue stem cells gene-editors have available for editing, the more effective they will be in advancing this exciting new frontier of medicine.

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AsymmetrexAsymmetrex Renews Efforts to Help Gene-Editing Companies