A total of 26 issued patents and numerous pending patent applications were acquired for a combination of cash and shares of common stock. The acquisition provides ACTC with exclusive ownership rights to critical technologies in regenerative medicine and the merger of assets is expected to strengthen ACTC's intellectual property position in the drive towards commercialization of embryonic stem cell and SCNT technology.
"This tactical acquisition is a part of our long-term plan to become one of the leading companies in the field of regenerative medicine,"Â said William M. Caldwell, IV, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Cell Technology. "We intend to use these technologies to further our product development and use the exclusive rights under these patents to protect the company and, as appropriate, leverage these patents through licensing transactions with potential strategic partners."Â
Dennis McCormick, Chairman of Infigen, Inc., commented, "We are pleased to complete this transaction and believe Advanced Cell Technology is one of the preeminent stem cell companies with the ability to commercialize this technology."Â
Infigen, Inc. heavily invested in its intellectual property portfolio relating to animal cloning and filed some of the earliest and most strategic patents in fundamental steps related to SCNT. One such critical step in SCNT is the activation of oocytes - a process designated "parthenogenetic activation"Â. Egg cells must be activated for SCNT to be successful. In a previous royalty-bearing cross license, ACTC acquired freedom to operate under the Infigen patents in the field of human cell therapy. However, with this acquisition, royalty obligations are removed and ACTC owns the patents exclusively for building its business in regenerative medicine and for use in licensing animal applications.
"We believe the Infigen intellectual property, when merged with our existing proprietary technologies, creates an impressive patent estate. The patents include fundamental technologies useful in the production of any type of cell or tissue matched to the patient through the process of SCNT,"Â said Dr. Michael West, ACTC's President and Chief Scientific Officer. "In addition, in our experience, we believe that this portfolio provides us with a dominant patent position in the production of human embryonic stem cells by parthenogenesis wherein stem cells are made from an egg cell without fertilization or SCNT.
Dr. West continued, "Combining these patents under one roof should simplify the regenerative medicine patent landscape. We will license out the animal applications for use in agriculture and animal science and use the human technologies for our internal programs including applications in the retina, vascular system, and dermatology"Â - Advanced Cell Technology.