ThermoGenesis Applauds the U.S. Congress for Passing the 'Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005' Bill Finances a National Inventory of 150,000 Cryopreserved Cord Blood Stem

Cell Units for Clinical Use, Homeland Security and Critically Needed Stem Cell

Research



    RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ThermoGenesis
 Corp. (Nasdaq:   KOOL) Chairman & CEO, Philip Coelho, commented on the passage
 of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005.  "This Bill, sponsored
 in the Senate (S-1317) by Senator Orrin Hatch and in the House of
 Representatives (HR-2520), by Representatives Chris Smith and Artur Davis,
 amends the Public Health Service Act to establish a National Cord Blood Stem
 Cell Bank Network to prepare, store and distribute 150,000 units of human
 umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of patients and to support
 peer-reviewed research using such cells.  This authorizing legislation
 provides $79 million in funds to follow the previous $19 million already
 appropriated as direct grants to qualified cord blood banks to manufacture the
 national inventory. The Office of Management and Budget has projected the full
 cost of the authorized inventory to be $225 million over the next several
 years."
     Neonatal cord blood stem cells are used in the treatment of more than
 60 malignant, genetic and acquired blood diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma,
 sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and immunodeficiency (boy in the bubble
 disease).  Cord blood as a source of stem cells is more rapidly available than
 bone marrow, a critical factor should a radiation incident occur, and provides
 survival rates for patients with these usually fatal diseases that can be as
 good, or better, than those following adult donor bone marrow stem cell
 transplants. Cord blood stem cell transplants are already curing hundreds of
 U.S. patients from lethal diseases each year and this 150,000-unit inventory
 will provide life saving stem cell transplants for the more than ten thousand
 patients each year who need them and cannot currently get them from the
 "walking donor" bone marrow registries (as disclosed in the GAO Report,
 October 2002).  Recent peer reviewed articles have underscored that stem cells
 residing in cord blood can differentiate into other tissues of the body,
 thereby becoming candidate cells to explore treatments such as diabetes,
 spinal cord damage and Parkinson's.
     According to Mr. Coelho, "ThermoGenesis has actively supported this
 legislation since its initiation in 2003. Beyond the important funding, we
 have long anticipated that federal oversight will mandate critical processing
 standards that will assure that the National Inventory includes only the
 highest quality cord blood stem cell units.  We have worked toward this goal
 and assisted the evolution of this new stem cell therapy by developing
 "enabling technologies" such as the BioArchive(R) and the AutoXpress(TM)
 Systems.  The BioArchive System is utilized by the major cord blood stem cell
 banks in 26 countries to automate the precision cryopreservation and archiving
 of units of cord blood stem cells.  The AutoXpress System, scheduled for
 market launch in January 2006, automates the harvesting of stem cells from
 cord blood in a closed sterile process. Both the BioArchive and the AutoXpress
 Systems are marketed and serviced globally by GE Healthcare."
 
     History of Cord Blood Transplants
     Following the first sibling-donor cord blood transplant in 1988, the
 National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded Dr. Pablo Rubinstein a grant to
 develop the worlds first cord blood program at the New York Blood Center
 (NYBC), in order to establish the inventory of stem cell units necessary to
 provide unrelated, matched grafts for patients (1992).  In 1993, Dr. Joanne
 Kurtzberg, Duke University Medical Center, performed the first two successful
 cord blood transplants, in the unrelated setting, one of which cured a patient
 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Currently, more than 7,000 unrelated
 transplants have been provided to patients worldwide.
 
     FDA Regulation
     By 1996, with more than 300 unrelated transplants accomplished, the FDA
 accepted the NYBC's request for an Investigational New Drug (IND) Exemption
 which allowed the expansion of the clinical use of cord blood under conditions
 that documented the critical processing protocols and the clinical outcome
 data which would allow the FDA to understand how best to regulate this
 promising cell therapy.  Today, the FDA is preparing to license this cell
 therapy product and, therefore, assure that this national inventory will be in
 compliance with the highest quality standards.
 
     About ThermoGenesis Corp.
     ThermoGenesis Corp. is a leader in enabling technologies for cell
 therapeutics.  The Company's technology platforms lead the world in their
 ability to produce biological products from single units of blood.
     -- The BioArchive System, an automated robotic cryogenic device, is used
        by major cord blood stem cell banks in 26 countries as a key enabling
        technology for cryopreserving and archiving cord blood stem cell units
        for transplant.
     -- The AutoXpress System, is a semi-automated robotic device and companion
        sterile closed blood processing disposable, to harvest stem cells from
        cord blood.
     -- The CryoSeal(R) FS System, a semi-automated device and companion
        sterile blood processing disposable, is used to prepare hemostatic and
        adhesive surgical sealants from the patient's blood in about an hour.
        Enrollment in a 150 patient U.S. pivotal clinical trial has been
        completed and a PMA is being prepared.
     -- The Thrombin Processing Device(TM) (TPD(TM)) is a sterile blood
        processing disposable that prepares activated thrombin from a small
        aliquot of patient blood, or blood plasma in 25 minutes.  The TPD
        market launch is underway in Europe.
 
     The statements contained in this release which are not historical facts
 are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties
 that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in
 the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, certain delays
 beyond the company's control with respect to market acceptance of new
 technologies and products, delays in testing and evaluation of products, and
 other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
     For More Information, Contact:
      ThermoGenesis Corp.
      Philip H. Coelho:  (916) 858-5100
      Or Fern Lazar (212) 867-1762
      or visit the web site at www.thermogenesis.com
 
 

SOURCE ThermoGenesis Corp.

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