Prochymal is a preparation of mesenchymal stem cells, which are obtained from the bone marrow of healthy young adults.
Because the cells are derived from adults, they sidestep the ethical issues stemming from the destruction of human embryos needed to make embryonic stem cells. Unlike most other types of adult stem cells, mesenchymal cells grow well in culture, so thousands of doses can be produced from a single donation.
Stem cells, particularly in the form of bone marrow transplants, are already used in medicine. Osiris is hoping that Prochymal will become the first stem cell product approved by the Food and Drug Administration and sold as a mass-produced pharmaceutical product (…)