By Karen Young

Select Therapeutics Inc. and Cytomatrix LLC terminated their joint venture, Cell Science Therapeutics, as well as ended any plans for Select to acquire Cytomatrix.

The joint venture was formed in December 2000 to develop and commercialize products based on proprietary technologies in cell culture, tissue engineering and immunotherapy. Both companies are based in Woburn, Mass.

The termination agreement calls for the return of intellectual property contributed by Select. Cytomatrix will continue to operate Cell Science Therapeutics as a wholly owned development organization, and Select will assign its 50 percent equity interest in Cell Science to Cytomatrix.

Select had contributed all its intellectual property and other assets relating to its verotoxin-based vaccine program based on its Activate technology for presenting antigens to dendritic cells and its verotoxin-based Veropulse tumor cell-purging technology, according to excerpts from an 8-K filing in January. This technology was to be developed using Cytomatrix¿s devices that enable the making and expansion of stem cells.

According to the 8-K filing, Mark Pykett, co-founder of Cytomatrix, served as president and chief operating officer, and Michael Rosenzweig, also a co-founder of Cytomatrix, was chief scientific officer. Cell Science Therapeutics had a six-member board of directors.

Officials from neither Select nor Cytomatrix returned phone calls seeking comment.

According to a press release issued by Select Therapeutics, it ¿will consider all strategic alternatives to preserve stockholder value.¿

Select also reported that it is focusing on three key technologies going forward: verotoxin-based cancer drugs, vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer, and a novel mucolytic drug candidate for the treatment of severe respiratory diseases. Select also is exploring opportunities in the area of adult-derived stem cells.

¿The company¿s technology strategy is to be implemented through a combination of in-licensed and acquired products and capabilities,¿ according to Select¿s release. ¿The termination of the CST joint venture will allow Select to focus its resources on obtaining fresh financing and the subsequent development of its products.¿

Select reported that it ¿will seek partnering opportunities for applications of its vaccine development platforms, VeroVax and Activate, for the treatment of cancers, and infectious and chronic diseases.¿

The company in its annual report dated Oct. 2 said it had $945,000 in cash and equivalents on June 30, enough to last until Oct. 15.

Select¿s stock (AMEX:XZL) fell 49 cents on Friday, or 49 percent, to close at 51 cents.

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