Bio.com is reporting -- okay, more like carrying a press release -- that Healtheuniverse, Inc., is preparing for clinical trials of stem cells recovered from human fat tissue. Quoting from the document in question:
Scientific protocols are being prepared for the first human clinical trials using the company's proprietary stem cell technology. This technology uses adipose tissue, or fat which can be used as an abundant source of stem cells for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Company intends to sell this proprietary technology to physicians, clinicians and medical organizations through a packaged product line and licensing agreements within the worldwide regenerative medicine market which is estimated to grow to $500 billion by 2010.
First, clinical trials for regenerative medicine are just getting underway, which means that in only 4 years we are very unlikely to see a $500 billion market. Second, Healtheuniverse? HEALTHeUNIVERSE (Ticker: HLUN.PK), according to the website. A stylism that bears an uncomfortable similarity to www.healthEuniverse.com, and looks like it was suggested by the namebots at Network Solutions. Brings back nightmares from, say, circa 1999. But then they are in Biopolis, Singapore, so perhaps I should forgive the name.
All fun derived from the name aside, the technology in general shows great promise. Zuk, et al., published a paper in Molecular Biology of the Cell in 2002 (full text at PubMed) showing that, "Human adipose tissue is a source of multipotent stem cells." This may be a way to generate therapeutic patient specific stem cells from adult tissue without cloning. For example, Timper, et al,. published just last month (PubMed) an article demonstrating, "Human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into insulin, somatostatin, and glucagon expressing cells."
So, promising, and still off in the future. But I don't think a company trading on the Pink Sheets will be my first stop for stem cell therapy.