University of Pittsburgh
November 14, 2001

University of Pittsburgh Stem Cell Technologies Licensed through Collaboration with Cook® Group

Contact:  412-624-4147

New Company Will Explore Medical Applications for Adult Stem Cells

PITTSBURGH—Groundbreaking potential uses for adult stem cells in treating disease will be explored and developed by a new company being formed as a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Cook® Group Incorporated, of Bloomington, Indiana.

Through Pitt's Office of Technology Management (OTM), the Pittsburgh-based company, Cook MyoSite, has licensed technologies related to stem cells derived from adult muscle tissue, These muscle-derived stem cells have the ability to repair diseased or damaged muscle, bone, and cartilage, and to deliver therapeutic genes. Cook Group will provide the initial financing and management for Cook MyoSite.

"The Cook organization has a tremendous history of innovation, and we see this collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh as another area where we can help provide breakthrough medical solutions to patients around the world," said Cook Group president Kem Hawkins.

"We are pleased to launch this important new start-up company in partnership with such a well-established and respected company as Cook Group," said Pitt Provost Jim Maher. "We believe this firm is well suited to capitalize on the breadth of potential applications of this adult stem cell technology."

"Adult stem cells hold great promise in treating a broad range of human diseases. Building on the pioneering work of Pitt's outstanding researchers, I believe this new company will soon be at the forefront of developing commercial medical applications using this exciting biotechnology," said Carl Cook, president of Cook MyoSite.

The Pitt research teams that developed the stem cell technologies were led by Johnny Huard and Michael Chancellor, M.D. Huard is an associate professor, division of Orthopaedic Surgery, molecular genetics and biochemistry, in the School of Medicine; an associate professor of bioengineering in the School of Engineering; and director of the Growth and Development Lab at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Chancellor is a professor of urology and gynecology in the School of Medicine.