Meet Some of the Physicians
and Cervical Spinal Cord
Injury Patients in the
AST-OPC1 Clinical Trial
 

About Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine. We even draw our name from the common starfish, Asterias rubens, which has the ability to regenerate lost limbs even in adulthood. We are focused on employing our pluripotent stem cell and cancer immunotherapy platforms to develop therapeutics addressing significant unmet medical needs in neurology and oncology. These clinical-stage programs are supported by robust proof-of-concept pre-clinical and clinical data. Our three clinical-stage programs include:

AST-OPC1

AST-VAC1

AST-VAC2

AST-OPC1 is a product in development for spinal cord injuries utilizing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, which we manufacture from our pluripotent stem cell platform. With significant financial support from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), we are currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in subacute, cervical (neck) spinal cord injury. AST-OPC1 cells are inserted directly into the damaged section of the spinal cord through a surgical procedure. The hope is that addition of these cells, which support the healthy functioning of nerve cells, can improve the transmission of signals from the brain through the spinal cord and out to the upper extremities, so that patients can better regain use of their arms, hands and fingers. Regaining use of the upper extremities can dramatically reduce health care costs and have a direct impact on a patient's ability to live independently. Approximately 17,000 people each year in the US suffer spinal cord injuries, and there are currently no therapies available to address these devastating injuries.

AST-VAC1 is an autologous (patient-specific) immunotherapy treatment for maintaining remission in individuals suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AST-VAC1 has the potential to supplement current chemotherapy regimens in order to improve long-term remission for these patients, as demonstrated in a phase 2 trial. Asterias is presently developing a manufacturing process in order to be able to produce clinical trial material in support of a phase 2b study expected to commence in 2018.

AST-VAC2 is an allogeneic (non-patient specific) immunotherapy manufactured using cells from our pluripotent stem cell line. We have partnered with Cancer Research-UK (CRUK) to investigate AST-VAC2 in non-small cell lung cancer, and CRUK is fully funding the first phase 1/2a clinical study. The first patient is expected to be enrolled in the second quarter of 2017. Additionally, AST-VAC2 has potential application in a wide range other cancers, and is likely synergistic with other immunotherapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Our team has a long history of advancing therapies in regenerative medicine. Many of our senior leaders have extensive experience developing our technology assets prior to the inception of Asterias in 2012. The Asterias technology platforms are based upon a strong foundation of hundreds of pieces of intellectual property, proprietary cell banks, and scientific data which we acquired at our founding in 2013. While our near term focus is to build out the three pipeline programs discussed above, our flexible technology platforms could unlock further therapeutic opportunities in the future.
Asterias Biotherapeutics Tel: (510) 456-3800