The US HP of Prograf indicates the following:
- Prograf® (tacrolimus capsules and injection) is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver, kidney, or heart transplants. It is recommended that Prograf be used concomitantly with adrenal corticosteroids. Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, Prograf injection should be reserved for patients unable to take Prograf capsules orally. In heart and kidney transplant recipients, it is recommended that Prograf be used in conjunction with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil
So- the compound is used as an immuno-suppressant after allogenic organ transplant and leading in respect of liver transplants. That particular function does not appear on first glance, to be a good fit to autologous cell regeneration. Basically same mechanisms and do the same thing i.e could also support/improve the efficacy.But really the reason for Astellas to use Prograf in combination with ADRCs for liver regeneration defeats me somewhat (if not a lot).
In regard of Prograf development, we find in the Vision 2015 Plan of Astellas-
So - as we see on the slide on the left- Prograf is also used in Japan as medication against auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
To me - that combination- ADRCs and a immuno-suppressant drug makes a lot more sense and Astellas might me interested to take a whole range of such disorders to develop "regenerative DRUG therapies" for them.
That would make more sense.
Of course- one auto-immune disorder will not be available to Astellas- Crohn´s and probably also ulcerative colitis, which I believe are too much in the influence sphere of Olympus.
Looking further at Astellas´vision 2015
Astellas is a result of a merger of two large Japanese pharmaceutical companies each with its own strength
s and weaknesses back in 2005. Clearly they are- what they call GCL- Global Category Leader- in two particular markets- Urology and Immunology (Transplants). In addition they have major ambitions in oncology, for which reason they acquired OSI Pharmaceuticals and Agensys- an antbody developer. Other ambitions are stated in the neurology- and DM & metabolical fields. (DM=Diabetes Mellitus)
"Exploring Paradigm shift in market" and "preparing for structural changes in the market in the future"-
Now that sounds more like, what we CYTX bagholders are thinking and what Astellas also seem to be preparing for.
One gets the impression when glancing thru the Vision 2010-2015 of Astellas, that they prefer to remain to be a pharmaceutical company, but realize if they dont do something about regenerative medicine, they might loose out going forward, due to the forthcoming changes in the market as a result of this technology.
As Mark Saad, CFO claimed during his presentation at the Citi healthcare conference- Astellas have been in and out of the CYTX premises for several years now. Other very knowledgeble CYTX followers even claim that back in 2005 there were tow suitors to develop the technology platform with Cytori- Olympus AND Astellas, whereby CYTX for obvious reasons choose Olympus, because of its engineering qualities and being a device maker. And Astellas developed ADRC tech on its own- with cultured cells probably, which they discovered wasnt Columbus´egg, for which reason they returned to Cytori.
To make a long story short- the advert that I discovered back in late 2009, I now believe to stem from Astellas and NOT Olympus.
In case this was correct- and I think this has a >90% chance, one can easily see in which area´s Astellas seems to interested to cooperate in the development of these therapies.