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like to collaborate on specific drug development projects, Grayson says. The company hasn’t yet struck a deal like that.
It will be interesting to see what kind of drug development programs eventually emerge from the stem cell technology platform Fate is developing. The company has spoken publicly many times about its lead drug candidate, a small molecule drug to improve the effectiveness of hematopoietic stem cell transplants for cancer patients.
More recently, since it acquired Ottawa, Canada-based Verio Therapeutics in April, Fate has started offering more details about other drug development programs in the works that have more mass-market potential. Fate is now seeking to use its technology to develop drugs that could help repair damaged heart tissue following heart attacks, as well as to restore pancreatic beta cells that get depleted in patients with diabetes. At an even earlier stage, Fate is thinking about drugs that could spur growth of cochlear cells in the ear, which are damaged in people who suffer from hearing loss.
None of those programs is yet in clinical trials, and Grayson isn’t ready to talk about a timetable for when they will get there. If any of those programs show serious signs of progress, it would be big news to potentially millions of patients.