Sertoli Technologies Inc. Hires Vice President of Research
Providence, RI – Aug 06, 2002
Dwaine Emerich, Ph.D., has joined cellular immunoscience company Sertoli Technologies Inc. (STI) as its vice president of research.
STI enables therapeutic cell transplantation through localized manipulation of the immune system. The Rhode Island company’s broad patent portfolio encompasses a core technology based on the natural ability of the Sertoli cell to protect cell transplants. STI is developing its Sertoli-cell technology to protect transplant therapies for insulin-dependent diabetes, hemophilia and other disorders.
Emerich leads STI’s research programs developing the company’s Sertoli-based cell therapeutics. Previously, he was the director of biological research at Alkermes Inc. in Cambridge Mass., and was responsible for preclinical cell therapy research at CytoTherapeutics (now Stem Cells Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif.).
“We are very pleased, Dr. Emerich is an exceptional member of our management team and he is highly regarded as a scientific leader in the field of cell transplantation and therapeutic delivery of proteins,” said Alfred Vasconcellos, STI’s president and chief executive officer. “Furthermore, he has extensive experience and demonstrated capabilities in creating and managing world-class research teams, and shepherding therapeutic products (including cell-based therapies) through the necessary phases of research and development. He will play a significant role in planning the strategy that expeditiously brings STI’s novel therapeutics to patients who need them.”
STI harnesses the naturally occurring ability of the Sertoli cell to nourish and protect developing germ cells. STI’s patented technology uses readily available Sertoli cells to create immunoprivileged sites for various transplant therapies. These sites not only protect Sertoli cells from destruction by the transplant recipient’s immune system, but also other cells or tissue implanted within the site. Transplants from the same species (allografts) or from a different species (xenografts) survive and function without the use of chronic immunosuppressant drugs.
The company’s patent portfolio protects the therapeutic use of Sertoli cells and specific methods of treating human diseases (such as diabetes) resulting from a deficiency of certain biological factors. Therapeutic cells or tissue transplanted in the immunoprivileged sites created by Sertoli cells supply the deficient factor. A minimally invasive transplant therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes, for example, will replenish the insulin-producing pancreatic islets destroyed in autoimmune diabetes.
“Joining STI is very exciting,” said Emerich. “The ability to replace missing or damaged cellular function in diabetes, hemophilia and similar disease states has always been the goal, but we’ve never had the right tools. With STI’s technology we can now make that happen for the majority of patients.”
STI has completed initial development of its diabetes transplant therapy. Studies showed that foreign islets transplanted in both allogeneic and xenogeneic recipients survive long term. Current work is defining clinically relevant products and completing the necessary preclinical safety and efficacy studies.
For further information, visit www.sertoli.com or contact STI at:
766 Laten Knight Road
Cranston, RI 02921-3214