April 30, 2013, Darmstadt, Germany — Merck Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck, and Plasticell of London, UK, today announced the availability of OsteoMAX-XF™, the first fully defined, xeno-free human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation medium for the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteocytes. Mineralization can be detected in less than one week, whereas competing products that contain serum require approximately 21 days to produce similar levels of bone formation.
The formulation, licensed from Plasticell, produces more consistent and potent osteogenic differentiation than currently available formulations, enabling a more reproducible, efficient method for creating bone tissue and advancing research in bone disease and healing. Merck Millipore manufactures and distributes the medium globally for research purposes while Plasticell retains all rights over therapeutic applications.
"This unique media formulation will help accelerate research in a wide range of bone related diseases such as osteoporosis," noted Nick Asbrock, stem cell product manager at Merck Millipore. "Researchers will now be able to derive bone tissue from MSCs in a more rapid and consistent manner."
The OsteoMAX-XF™ differentiation media adds to Merck Millipore’s comprehensive portfolio of mesenchymal stem cell products including primary human and rat mesenchymal stem cell lines, expansion media, antibodies, characterization kits, growth factors and ECM proteins.
The optimized, single application osteogenic medium was developed using Plasticell’s combinatorial screening system that performed a rapid screen of 3,375 combinations of fully defined cell culture media, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of combinations of media components.
Development and optimization of the medium using CombiCult® and the close collaboration between Merck Millipore and Plasticell is described in a recent sp2 article entitled "Applying mesenchymal stem cell technology to drug discovery and cell therapy" (sp2 Inter-Active, January/February 2013, pp16-18, http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=fcbef908-228c-4cf4-9ae7-5ab1dd06ee99).
For more information on Merck Millipore’s Comprehensive Stem Cell Portfolio, please click here.
About Merck Millipore
Merck Millipore is the Life Science division of Merck KGaA of Germany and offers a broad range of innovative, performance products, services and business relationships that enable our customers’ success in research, development and production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug therapies. Through dedicated collaboration on new scientific and engineering insights, and as one of the top three R&D investors in the Life Science Tools industry, Merck Millipore serves as a strategic partner to customers and helps advance the promise of life science.
Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, the division has around 10,000 employees, operations in 66 countries and 2012 revenues of €2.6 billion Merck Millipore operates as EMD Millipore in the U.S. and Canada.
Note: Merck KGaA or Merck shall mean Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
About Plasticell and CombiCult®
Plasticell is a biotechnology company that specializes in using massively parallel screens to differentiate stem cells.
The company’s proprietary technology, Combinatorial Cell Culture or CombiCult®, allows testing of cell culture variables in millions of random combinations to discover optimal protocols for the differentiation and expansion of adult, and pluripotent stem cells. Results are obtained rapidly at a fraction of the cost of trial and error experimentation – each screen can produce many dozens of protocols which are ranked by optimality by powerful proprietary bioinformatics, Ariadne®. In addition to discovering optimized stem cell differentiation protocols, CombiCult® can be used to produce high-value cell types and/or custom media for drug development and cell therapy applications, improving yields and decreasing cost of goods for bio-processing.