Imagine you are wounded or badly burned many hours from a hospital in a remote area.

Ideally you want advanced treatment to start the healing process as soon as possible. Will cellular therapy be there for you. Not likely. Cells are living things and they need complicated handling and storage. But exosomes harvested from stem cells could be in your first aid kit and ready for immediate use – providing the healing benefit of stem cells but as an easy to store and apply spray, dressing or ointment.

Welcome to the world of exosomes as a new cell-free alternative for regenerative medicine.

Many people are still learning about the potential of adult stem cells as a medicine, but companies such as Exopharm are jumping ahead to the next generation of medicines – exosomes.

Exosomes (also know as extracellular vesicles or EVs to scientists in the field) are produced by cells naturally and have been shown recently to be the crucial factor that stem cells produce – the so-called active ingredient.

Instead of administering stem cells to a patient and wait for the stem cells to produce exosomes inside the patient’s body – why not keep the stem cells in a well-controlled biomanufacturing facility, harvest exosomes from the cells, and then package and transport the exosomes for off-the-shelf treatment.

You could think about cows and milk. What we want at the office or home is milk, but milk comes from cows. These days very few people would bother to keep a cow at home or at the office – feeding, milking twice a day, sterility issues, Vet bills and where to keep a cow ? It is the same with cells and exosomes – why not leave the cells at a specialised cell-factory and just transport and use the active ingredient secreted by cells (the exosomes). 

Until now there has been a key reason to administer cells to patients in order to deliver doses of exosomes.

The technology to purify exosomes from the secretions of cells at a factory wasn’t available in a pharma-grade high-yield process. So the only feasible way to deliver exosomes into patients was to put the cells into the patients and wait for the cells to secrete the exosomes into the patient’s blood. This all changed in late 2016 when Exopharm applied for a patent for its LEAP technology. Exopharm’s LEAP technology promises to purify intact exosomes in large-scale at the biomanufacturing facility using equipment already validated in the pharmaceutical industry to make medicinal biologics – Exopharm calls its exosomes Exomeres.

With exclusive use of the LEAP technology, Exopharm is now scaling up the LEAP process and preparing to enter clinical trials with its exclusive Exomeres. One of our clinical trials will compare Exomeres from adult stem cells as a medicine against adult stem cells themselves. These studies will allow us to compare safety, efficacy, logistics and cost of goods.

We expect to see that the efficacy of Exomeres is comparable with single doses of cell therapy, but the comparative efficacy of Exomeres will escalate with multiple dosing when the duration of cell activity in the body is cut short by immune clearance of the unmatched cells.

Exopharm believes that Exomeres and its LEAP technology will be valuable due to the improved utility, safety and other benefit of exosomes over cellular therapies – issues such as transport costs, potential shelf-life, simplicity of use and safety compared with live cells.

Further details are available from the Exopharm web site. You may be interested in topics such as how do exosomes work and how does LEAP work.

Exopharm and its Exomeres will be disruptive to many biotechnology companies seeking to commercialise traditional cellular therapies for regenerative medicine. Exopharm and its team see that its technology will be appealing to patients and Pharmaceutical companies wanting a potentially superior next-generation technology and its many benefits.

Exopharm is presently a privately held Australian biotechnology company formed, funded and headed by Dr Ian Dixon. Ian has many years of experience in the cell therapy field, but turned his attention to commercialising therapeutic exosomes in 2015. Ian is a biomedical engineer with an MBA and a co-inventor of the LEAP technology. Ian has a number of patents in the field of novel therapeutics and technologies. Exopharm is partnering its technology internationally.

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More about Exopharm – see

Exopharm’s goals are to :

·                     become the world’s largest supplier of pharma-grade Exomeres

·                     use Exomeres in place of stem cell therapy

·                     be an irresistible target for Big Pharma