A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

HemoGenix (Colorado Springs, Colorado), a private contract research and assay development company, reported receiving U.S. patents for the first two "of several patent applications" for its HALO technology, calling this "the only alternative to, and replacement for, the traditional colony-forming cell assay, first described in 1966."

The HALO Stem and Progenitor Cell — Quality Control (SPC-QC) and HALO-96 PQR (Potency, Quality Release) platforms were designed for stem cell transplantation and cord blood bank processing laboratories to address the requirement for appropriate and validated assays for umbilical cord blood stem cell products prior to transplantation into patients, according to HemoGenix.

It said, "the HALO Predictive Hemotoxicity Platform was designed for all stages of drug development from early high-throughput screening to pre-clinical studies and patient monitoring during clinical trials.

"The HALO Hemotoxicity Platform provides easy to use, robust, reliable and validated predictive tools to detect potential toxic side effects to stem cells of the blood-forming (hematopoietic) system for drug development and environmental agent testing. HALO was developed by HemoGenix with the help of a SBIR Phase I and II grant from the National Cancer Institute. Development began in January 2001.

The HALO Platform for in vitro hemotoxicity testing of new drug candidates being developed by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies was launched at the Society of Toxicology meeting in March 2001. Since that time, HemoGenix says it has developed three versions of its HALO Platform, each designed for specific applications.

Ivan Rich, PhD, founder and CEO of HemoGenix, called receipt of the patents "an important milestone" for the company.

HemoGenix has developed a portfolio of in vitro assay platforms for basic research, stem cell quality control, potency and release assays for stem cell transplantation processing laboratories and toxicity, safety and risk assessment for drug development and environmental testing.