Thursday, July 26, 2007

ESI wants a return on its present IP assets

Further to the IPBiz post Singapore's ESI halting work on human embryonic stem cell therapies, Chen Huifen wrote in The Business Times Singapore:

But a recent article in Science magazine gave the impression it
had dropped its research focus for commercialisation work to achieve quicker

Ms Chu clarified that the decision is, in fact, to 'balance the
company's business model with short and long-term returns'.

'It is widely recognised that the life cycle of the discovery and
development process for stem cell therapy is long,' she said.

'ESI will therefore balance its business model with short and
long-term returns. Hence the current strategy to focus ESI on commercialising its
IP assets and technology platform is in line with its evolution.'

In other words, ESI is trying to get some revenue from the intellectual property assets it already has, and won't be researching therapeutic areas in the future (as Science noted: Investors lost interest because "the likelihood of having products in the clinic in the short term was vanishingly small.")

One sees from the Business Times article that ESI scientists have gone into the public sector:

[ESI] will continue to have an interest in research through
arrangements with external partners such as Singapore Stem Cell Consortium (SSCC), now headed by ESI's former CEO Alan Colman. SSCC has taken in 20 scientists from ESI.

NewsAsia had reported on July 6: Internationally-renowned expert Dr Alan Colman has joined A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) to head its stem cell research efforts. (...) Dr Colman has now been appointed Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium (SSCC).

Elsewhere, the Business Times article observed: ESI owns six of the 21 human embryonic stem cell lines - or cell populations - approved by the US National Institute of Health.

One notes that one won't be reading this information at californiastemcellreport.


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