Ocata Therapeutics

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Ocata Therapeutics, Inc.
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 1994
Headquarters Marlborough, MA
Key people
  • Robert Lanza, MD: Chief Scientific Officer
  • Mr. Paul K. Wotton, Ph.D.: President and Chief Executive Officer[1]
  • Mr. Ted Myles: Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer[1]
  • Mr. LeRoux Jooste: SVP of Business Development and Chief Commercial Officer
  • Robert S. Langer, Sc.D.: Director
Products Stem cell therapies for macular degeneration (human safety trial started in 2010[2]), retinis pigmentosa, glaucoma and corneal blindness [3]
Website Ocata.com

Ocata Therapeutics, previously known as Advanced Cell Technology, Incorporated (ACT), is a biotechnology company located in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA. The company specializes in the development and commercialization of cell therapies for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Ocata is primarily developing stem cell-based technologies, both adult and human embryonic, and other methods and treatments in the area of regenerative medicine.[4]

Ocata's Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) is Robert Lanza, who is also Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.[5] Lanza and Harvard faculty member George Church are joining forces to start an animal de-extinction startup named Ark.[6]

On June 24, 2014, Ocata announced that Paul K. Wotton, previously of Antares Pharma Inc (ATRS:NASDAQ CM), will become President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 21, 2014.[7]


Formed in 1994, the company was led from 2005 to late 2010 by William M. Caldwell IV, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.[8] Upon Mr. Caldwell's death on December 13, 2010, Gary Rabin, a member of ACT's board of directors with experience in investment and capital raising, assumed the role of Chairman and CEO.[9]

On August 23, 2006, the online edition of the science journal Nature published a paper by Dr. Lanza and others stating that his team had found a way to extract embryonic stem cells without destroying or harming the actual embryo, deriving a stem cell line using a process similar to preimplantation genetic diagnosis, in which a single blastomere is extracted from a blastocyst.[10] This technical achievement would potentially enable scientists to work with new lines of embryonic stem cells derived using public funding.

In 2007 the company's Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Michael D. West, PhD, also founder of Geron (NASDAQGERN)[11] left Ocata to join a regenerative medicine firm, BioTime (NYSE MKTBTX) as CEO.

In 2008, for $250,000 plus royalties up to a total of $1 million, the company licensed its "ACTCellerate" technology to BioTime.[12] The following year BioTime secured $4.72 million in grant funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for the program.[13]

On November 22, 2010, the company announced that it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate the first human clinical trial using embryonic stem cells to treat retinal diseases.[14]

The Lancet published a preliminary report of the macular degeneration patients in the ACT trial on January 24, 2012.[15] A followup article was published by the Lancet February 2015. [16]

On August 27, 2014, Ocata announced a 1-100 reverse stock split of its common stock to improve stock structure.[17]

According to the company,[18]

“Ocata” is a Native American name for “healer”. Healing implies repair and regeneration – not merely slowing the progression of an inevitable disease.

Ocata was listed on NASDAQ in February 2015.[19]


Macular degeneration[edit]

On November 30, 2010, Ocata filed an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. FDA for the first clinical trial using embryonic stem cells to regenerate retinal pigment epithelium to treat Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD).[20] Dry AMD is the most common form of macular degeneration and represents a market size of $25–30 Billion in the U.S. and Europe.[21]

Stargardt's disease[edit]

In November 2010 the FDA allowed Ocata to begin a Phase I/II human clinical trial to use its retinal pigment epithelium cell therapy to treat Stargardt disease, a form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.advancedcell.com/about-act/leadership-team/senior-executive-officers/
  2. ^ "Company seeks to test stem cells for blindness". Reuters. 2009-11-25. 
  3. ^ Ocata website: Pipeline Overview
  4. ^ "Race is on to use embryonic stem cells in humans". New Scientist. November 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ "New Method for Controversy Free Embryonic Stem Cells". Wired Science. 9 July 2008. 
  6. ^ http://www.technologyreview.com/view/512671/a-stealthy-de-extinction-startup/
  7. ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/advanced-cell-technology-appoints-paul-k-wotton-phd-president-and-chief-executive-officer-2014-06-24
  8. ^ "Executive Profile". BusinessWeek.com. 23 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Advanced Cell Technology Senior Executive Officers". Advanced Cell Technology. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  10. ^ Klimanskaya I, Chung Y, Becker S, Lu SJ, Lanza R. (2006). "Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres". Nature 444 (7118): 481–5. doi:10.1038/nature05142. PMID 16929302. 
  11. ^ "Bloomberg Longevity Economy Conference 2013 Panelist Bio". 
  12. ^ "Press Release: ACTCellerate Technology Licensed to BioTime, Inc by Advanced Cell Technology". 
  13. ^ "CIRM Doles Out $67M in Early Translational Grants". Genetic Engineering News. April 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ "FDA approves second human embryonic stem cell trial". CNN.com. 22 November 2010. 
  15. ^ http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60028-2/abstract
  16. ^ http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2814%2961376-3/abstract
  17. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140827-918716.html
  18. ^ The Meaning of Ocata [1]
  19. ^ Ocata Therapeutics Approved for Listing on NASDAQ February 26, 2015 [2]
  20. ^ Advanced Cell Technology Files IND with FDA for First Clinical Trial Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Dry AMD.
  21. ^ ACT Seeks FDA Approval For Stem Cell Study.
  22. ^ Advanced Cell Technology Receives FDA Clearance For the First Clinical Trial Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Macular Degeneration.

External links[edit]