Fate Therapeutics Strengthens Leadership Position In The Development Of Wnt-based Protein Therapeutics

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fate Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of adult stem cell modulators, announced today several advancements in its goal to develop the first Wnt-protein therapeutic for regenerative medicine applications.  After several years of systematically applied structural prediction, rational design and protein engineering, Fate Therapeutics has generated several proprietary Wnt-protein drug candidates suitable for advancement toward clinical development and validated their therapeutic potential in various in vivo preclinical models.  While the important physiologic role of Wnt-family proteins in development, stem cell fate and tissue regeneration has long been recognized, significant challenges in the manufacture, formulation and delivery of these naturally-occurring signaling molecules have previously hindered their therapeutic development.   

In further support of its commitment to harness the therapeutic potential of Wnt proteins, Fate Therapeutics has added K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D., to the Company's senior scientific advisory team.  Dr. Garcia, Professor in the departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a world-renowned leader in the field of signaling protein and receptor structure-function research.  Earlier this year, Dr. Garcia published the first molecular structure of a Wnt protein (Janda et al., Science 2012), an important breakthrough that validates, and continues to support, Fate's development of Wnt-based therapeutics.

"Fate has made great strides in pioneering the development of protein therapeutics aimed at harnessing the potential of Wnt biology, an area with tremendous promise in the field of regenerative medicine," said Dr. Garcia.  "I believe that Fate's focus on in vivo adult stem cell modulation is a very promising approach for therapeutic translation, and I am excited to join this effort."

"We are delighted to have Dr. Garcia join our scientific advisory team.  His elucidation of a Wnt protein structure is a remarkable accomplishment that has already provided valuable information to aid in therapeutic development," said Christian Weyer, M.D., M.A.S., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics.  "His scientific leadership and expertise in protein structure will be an invaluable asset as we continue to advance and further expand our Wnt-based therapeutic pipeline."

Fate's protein therapeutic programs are supported by a team of Scientific Founders including Wnt signaling expert Dr. Randall Moon, Dr. Philip Beachy and Dr. Michael Rudnicki.  The Company's most advanced Wnt-based protein therapeutic program is focused on skeletal muscle regeneration and originated from the groundbreaking research of Dr. Rudnicki, who identified WNT7a as a key regulator of muscle biology and elucidated its mechanism of action.  Fate Therapeutics has demonstrated that its proprietary WNT7a-based proteins drive both satellite stem cell expansion and muscle growth in vivo, resulting in significant improvement in muscle function in preclinical models of muscular dystrophy and atrophy.

About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
Fate Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing first-in-class therapeutics with novel points of intervention in the field of adult stem cell biology.  The Company's first clinical program, ProHema, pioneers an innovative therapeutic modality and consists of ex vivo pharmacologically-modulated hematopoietic stem cells designed to enhance hematopoietic reconstitution in patients undergoing stem cell transplant.  In addition, Fate Therapeutics has a robust preclinical pipeline of first-in-class in vivo stem cell modulators for skeletal muscle regeneration and hearing restoration.  To advance its discovery and development efforts, the Company applies its award-winning, proprietary, induced pluripotent stem cell technology to generate rare cell populations and model disease.  Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA, with a subsidiary in Ottawa, Canada.  For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com.

SOURCE Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

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