Pfizer expands adult stem cell therapy work

Pfizer is steadily expanding its presence in the stem cell field. The Wall Street Journal notes that in November the pharma giant will open a regenerative medicine shop in Cambridge, England. It opened a similar unit in Cambridge, MA earlier this year. And the pharma giant is zeroing in on the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells. Pfizer's interest in stem cells extends to an investment in EyeCyte, a San Diego biotech that is investigating a cure for retina damage.

Initially Pfizer will focus on the near-term use of stem cells for safety studies--an important trend in the field. But further down the R&D road it plans to determine how stem cells could be used to develop tissue that could be used to repair damaged hearts and other organs. And it's dividing the work in the U.S. and the UK--with the Massachusetts unit centering on heart disease and diabetes while researchers in England study ophthalmology and the central nervous system.

"Pfizer has put its flag in the ground that there is a future in regenerative medicine," said Pfizer stem cell chief Corey Goodman earlier this year.

- read the report in the Wall Street Journal