Advanced Tissue Sciences announced Monday at the 34thAnnual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)in Anaheim, Calif., that it has acquired exclusive worldwiderights to stem cell proliferation factor (SCPF) from theUniversity of Florida Research Foundation Inc.

Data on SCPF, a novel growth factor that stimulates the growthof hematopoietic stem cells, the cells responsible forrepopulating the immune system, was reported at the meetingby researchers from the University of Florida and the NationalHeart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes ofHealth (NIH).

The data described the ability of the novel SCPF to proliferateCD34-positive CD38-negative cells, a subpopulation ofhematopoietic cells believed to contain stem cells, and maintainthe phenotype of the CD34-positive CD38-negative cells,according to James Linton, spokesman for ATS(NASDAQ:ATISA) of La Jolla, Calif.

"Researchers at the University of Florida have characterizedSCPF, established partial sequence of the factor, and throughcomputer searches have determined that it's a novel factor,"said Linton.

Gail Naughton, ATS's executive vice president and chiefoperating officer, said that SCPF could be used to boost bonemarrow levels in patients receiving chemotherapy or toimprove the efficacy of bone marrow transplants. She said thefactor will add a "powerful research tool" to the company'sproduct portfolio, and it could be used to enhance theexpansion of stem cells in many of ATS's tissue systems.

ATS's licensing agreement with the University of FloridaResearch Foundation Inc. is the result of a researchcollaboration.

-- Michelle Slade Associate Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.