Activated Cell Therapy Inc. (ACT) and Pharmacia Biotech Inc. formeda development and marketing partnership that initially will focus onmarketing kits based on ACT's density gradient technology forselective cell enrichment.ACT, a privately-held company founded in 1992, will manufacture thekits. They will be marketed to industrial and academic laboratories byPharmacia, which is based in Piscataway, N.J., and is the U.S. sales andmarketing arm of Pharmacia Biotech AB of Sweden. The collaborationintends to have the first kit, for CD34 positive cell enrichment, on themarket by the end of the end of the year."It's really a terrific opportunity for both companies," Russell Hays,ACT's chairman and CEO, told BioWorld. "As a start-up (company),it's particularly powerful for us. We are a biotech company barely ayear old and we will have revenues in 1994. And we will expand thoserevenues with a multiplicity of product launches in the research kit areain 1995," which will help the company's cash position as it moves intoits clinical work.Hays said future kits will be developed for "a myriad of purificationtargets," which include tumor cell enrichment, dendritic cells,monocyte and natural killer cells.When the partnership moves into the therapeutic products, ACT, withexclusive worldwide rights to Pharmacia's hematopoietic celltransplantation and therapy using a novel material for density gradientseparation, will be responsible for manufacturing and marketing.Pharmacia will help with the development costs.For Pharmacia, the partnership represents a new approach.`We've really been dealing in the cell separation area since the late1970s," Leslie Beadling, vice president of research and businessdevelopment for Pharmacia, told BioWorld. "But we never reallytargeted an application with a very complete approach that could, infact, be very close to a potential clinical product. This is a realopportunity to target markets in a more complete way."

-- Jim Shrine

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