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Aruna Biomedical Taps RiversEdge BioVentures for Strategic Advisory Services

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Stem cell research tools company Aruna Biomedical said yesterday that it has hired recently formed life sciences advisory and investment services firm RiversEdge BioVentures to evaluate strategic alternatives for Aruna.

RiversEdge will evaluate potential fundraising opportunities for Aruna, expansion of its strategic partnerships, and potential combinations with strategic and financial investors, among other services.

Aruna, based in Athens, Ga., develops and commercializes products and services from or related to human stem cells for drug discovery and basic research.

Founded in 2003 by Steven Stice, a professor at UGA and director of its Regenerative Bioscience Center, Aruna claims to be the first to commercialize products derived from human embryonic stem cells.

The company has exclusive worldwide licenses from the University of Georgia Research Foundation to develop and commercialize neural cells and human mesenchymal cells derived from hESCs. Aruna also has a nonexclusive license from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for the use of ESC patents in research applications.

RiversEdge, based in Beaufort, SC, announced its formation earlier this month. Principal and Founder David Dodd previously served as CEO for BioReliance and Serologicals (now part of Millipore); and as non-executive chairman of Stem Cell Sciences, which was sold to Stem Cells Inc. in April.