Technology Summary

The cell population approved for use in the Phase I clinical trial is a well-characterized mixture of cells that contains adult hepatocytes as well as stem and progenitor cells. This mixture of cells can be obtained in large quantities and cryopreserved under controlled conditions to maintain a high level of cell viability. Third party trials have shown evidence of engraftment, survival and function of transplanted cells. To date, clinicians in academic settings have transplanted over 50 patients with a variety of acute, chronic, inherited and acquired liver diseases. The scientists at Vesta are working to expand mature hepatocytes, thus insuring that a single donor organ can be used to potentially treat many patients.

Donor Livers provided through the gift of organ donation

Researchers at Vesta are also working on isolating populations of stem and progenitor cells, immature cells that are committed to the liver lineage, but do not yet express most mature liver cell functions. There are important potential advantages in using a purified or highly enriched population of these stem and progenitor cells. Compared to mature hepatocytes, these cells are much more proliferative, potentially expanding the use of a single donor organ to treat hundreds or even thousands of patients.

The Company has sponsored research agreements to work in collaboration with researchers in the Cell and Molecular Physiology Department and the Division of Transplantation in the Department of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.