PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- CytoTherapeutics Inc. announced Tuesdaythat it signed a collaborative agreement with two University ofCalgary researchers to investigate uses of continuouslyproliferating neural stem cells in designing a cell therapy fortreating neurodegenerative disorders.

CytoTherapeutics (NASDAQ:CTII) obtained an exclusiveevaluation and option agreement with university researchersSamuel Weiss and Brent Reynolds, whose discovery of braincells from adult mice that could produce new nerve cells inculture was described in the March 27 issue of Science. Nofinancial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

Obtaining access to the stem cells "is ultimately the best way toevaluate our technology," said Seth Rudnick, CytoTherapeutics'president and chief executive officer. The company isdeveloping techniques for encapsulating living cells or tissueswithin semipermeable polymer membranes, which could leadto the therapeutic use of implanted cells.

CytoTherapeutics will initially study implantation of bothencapsulated and unencapsulated stem cells and progeny intospecific sites within the brain. The goal is to evaluate thepotential of these cells to repair or replace damaged neuraltissue in central nervous system degenerative disorders, suchas Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

-- Steve Payne BioWorld Staff

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