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Paradigm, StemCo Ink Novel Stem-Cell/Genomics Pact

NEW YORK, Nov. 19 — Paradigm Genetics and StemCo Biomedical announced on Monday a research collaboration to identify small molecules in adult stem cells.


The two companies hope to identify new markers for adult stem cells that will allow them to be more easily differentiated, according to Paradigm President and CEO John Ryals. StemCo's technique for identifying these cells now depends on only one marker, he added.


Under the agreement, Paradigm will supply its MetaVantage technology, which integrates metabolic information with genomic data, while StemCo will provide the adult stem cells.


Paradigm will retain rights related to any new compounds discovered and StemCo will retain rights related to the stem cells themselves.


Financial details were not disclosed.


StemCo, a small privately owned company based in Research Triangle Park, NC, was launched last year to develop a technology for identifying and purifying adult stem cells for patients needing bone marrow transplants.


The collaboration between the companies is also intended to introduce Paradigm's technology and prove its applicability in human tissues and cells.


"We thought this would be a demonstration of how to use metabolic profiling," Ryals said in an interview. "Can we find another couple of markers for these types of cells? These things look like cells, taste like other cells, but do they actually have the same small molecules?"


Ryals said that the company was now expanding its technology applications from plants into human cells and tissues, and was planning a range of "high profile" demonstrations of its technology over the next year.


"We want to open people's eyes to what you can actually do," he said, adding that other planned projects include using Paradigm's technology to profile embryonic stem cells, among other tissue types.


Two weeks ago, Paradigm Genetics and Lion Bioscience, the German bioinformatics giant, had expanded a five-year strategic alliance to jointly develop a metabolic profiling database. The expansion is to include biochemical data, the companies said.


When completed MetaTrace will include profiling data mostly from human cells, fluids, and tissues. 

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