"Only five years ago the principals of communicating within the body were hormones, immunology or neurology and now we have found another way of communicating and sending genetic signals between cells,” Life Technologies Corp (LIFE).
So why is something so small creating such a huge buzz? Two key significant areas of growth in the sector are diagnostics and therapeutics for diseases such as cancer.
According to a report earlier this year from Select Biosciences, "Exosome research is growing exponentially as researchers from several disparate disciplines are exploring the role of exosomes in inter-cellular communication, immunological responses, stem cell behavior, cancer cell communication, etc. Indeed, the potential of exosomes and other classes of microvesicles as a means of molecular cargo transport is being intensively studied. "
Enal Razvi, Ph.D, Biotechnology Analyst and Managing Director of SelectBio U.S, one of a few experts covering the space, shared insight with Investorideas.com in a recent conversation.
When we asked Enal to discuss what publicly traded companies are in this new sector for investors, he said there are only a few to watch including Life Technologies Corp (LIFE) (currently being acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific), Eli Lilly (LLY) (due to their partnership with Exosome Diagnostics) and Aethlon Medical (AEMD).
He went on to say, "Investors need to be aware of changes exosomes allow, making companion diagnostics a reality. Exosomes can create a paradigm shift for companion diagnostics based on circulating biomarkers.
"Five years from now, or sooner, exosomes will become a key diagnostic tool for cancers. If we don’t know the origin of tumors; biomarkers can narrow down the source.
Why investors should pay attention to the space is because exosomes can significantly reduce the cost and increase the compliance, primarily for cancer, and make biopsies for personal medicine longitudinal sense. It becomes a very invasive process for a patient to get ongoing biopsies, so this new method of using exosomes for diagnostics is very exciting for patients.
Currently the research market for exosomes is about $50 million but this does not account for the opportunities in the diagnostics space which will drive market growth and value creation.”
Aethlon Medical (OTCBB: AEMD) is one of the only companies that may be able to participate in both diagnostics and therapeutics in the exosome space. The company recently announced the launch of Exosome Sciences (ESI) as a subsidiary that is advancing exosome-based strategies to diagnose and monitor the progression of cancer, infectious disease and other life-threatening conditions. Aethlon also attracted two of the best-known thought leaders in the exosome industry to play key roles in the new company.
"We are well positioned to benefit from the exosome revolution,” stated Aethlon Medical Chairman and CEO, Jim Joyce. "We are advancing patented first-in-class therapeutic technology to eliminate the presence of tumor-secreted exosomes that trigger the death of immune cells necessary for combating cancer. On the diagnostic front, our Exosome Sciences research team pioneered the field of exosome biology and is actively advancing a pipeline of next generation diagnostic tools".
In September of this year, Exosome Diagnostics announced that it entered into a collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY). "Exosome Diagnostics technology may provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the biology of complex conditions such as cancer and immune disorders”, stated Andrew Schade, Senior Medical Director, Diagnostic and Experimental Pathology at Eli Lilly. He further stated that "Exosome technology enables biofluid molecular sampling and the ability to monitor disease progression in real time. As Lilly explores new ways to pursue patient tailoring, we'll continue to work with partners to expand our capabilities."
Another company in the space, stem cell therapy development company ReNeuron (LON: RENE)
reported in early December, "We have highlighted a number of key developments in the period, notably the successful and earlier-than-planned development of a second-generation cryopreserved CTX drug product for our stroke and critical limb ischaemia programmes, our planned world-class cell manufacturing facility in South Wales, the granting of Orphan Drug Designation for our retinitis pigmentosa programme and the accelerated development of our CTX cell-based exosomes therapeutic platform”.
Life Technologies Corp (LIFE) has created a mini documentary series entitled 'Exosomes-The Next Small Thing’. "Exosomes are a very powerful way, a new way of how cells communicate long distance… They are powerful mediators that carry all the signaling and machinery necessary to change the behavior of the neighboring cells". http://www.lifetechnologies.com/ca/en/home/life-science/cell-analysis/exosomes/exosomes-documentary-episode-1.html
PDF for Exosomes Market Snapshot: Enal Razvi, Ph.D.
Bio for Enal Razvi, Ph.D- Biotechnology Analyst and Managing Director of SelectBio U.S
Enal Razvi, Ph.D., conducted his doctoral work on viral immunology and subsequent to receiving his Ph.D. went on to the Rockefeller University in New York to serve as Aaron Diamond Post-doctoral fellow under Professor Ralph Steinman [Nobel Prize Winner in 2011 for his discovery of dendritic cells in the early-70s with Zanvil Cohn]. Subsequently, Dr. Razvi completed his research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. For the last two decades Dr. Razvi has worked with small and large companies and consulted for more than 100 clients worldwide. He currently serves as Biotechnology Analyst and Managing Director of SelectBio U.S. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Aethlon Medical, Inc. (AEMD)
Aethlon Medical creates innovative medical devices to address life-threatening diseases. The Aethlon ADAPT™ (Adaptive Dialysis-like Affinity Platform Technology) establishes the basis for a new class of therapeutics that target the rapid elimination of disease enabling particles from the circulatory system of treated patients. The lead Aethlon ADAPT™ product is the Hemopurifier®, a device that addresses a broad-spectrum of viral pathogens as well as tumor-secreted exosomes that suppress the immune system of cancer patients. Aethlon is also operating under two government contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) related the development of a medical device to reduce the incidence of sepsis. Exosome Sciences, Inc. is a majority owned Aethlon subsidiary that is advancing exosome-based strategies to diagnose and monitor cancer and infectious disease progression. Additional information can be found at www.AethlonMedical.com
News source: http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2013/12/4/reports_from_dalian_medical_university_advance.htm
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