X-Message-Number: 12258
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 12:06:31 EDT
Subject: 21CM, INC, BioTime

Saul Kent says only 21CM is working on cryopreservation of organs--no other 
company or institution, large or small. I have found some hints of others, 
but nothing very substantive. 

I presume Saul omitted mention of INC either because it is affiliated 
indirectly with 21CM or because the hippocampal slice project is not itself a 
full-brain experiment. However, as far as I know, 21CM has not yet arrived 
near the point of experimenting with whole brains either.

I had intimated previously that the medical/scientific establishment, 
including major corporations, would probably do the bulk of the work on 
cryopreservation (or biopreservation) of organs for transplant. This is not 
yet the case, but probably will be at some point. If 21CM (or anyone) shows 
convincingly promising new results, the market is likely to do its thing. 

Of course, if alternative procedures are successful, cryopreservation might 
be bypassed for organ transplantation. Alternative procedures could include 
xenotransplants, with (say) pig organs treated to eliminate the immune 
problem. Or a person's own stem cells might be used to grow any organ with 
his own genetic signature. A simpler alternative is just better temporary 
organ storage methods, e.g. extending storage time from hours or days to 
months, without freezing, and this IS being pursued. Whether any alternatives 
are likely to mature and become economic in the foreseeable future is 

The upshot, as I have previously said, is that funding 21CM or/and INC might 
be a very good use of cryonicists' discretionary funds, depending on many 
variables, some of them peculiar to the individual. 21CM is expected, perhaps 
some time in the next several months, to announce a stock offering. INC, I 
believe, is still accepting donations.

BioTime Inc. (Paul Segall, Hal Sternberg, Harold Waitz et al) is also 
interested in cryopreservation, but does not emphasize it and has been 
approaching it very gradually, and as far as I know still has its focus on 
the hypothermic phase. However, conceivably this could change. BioTime has 
obtained approval from the FDA to market its blood plasma volume expander, 
trademarked Hextend, for use in surgery, and licensed Abbott Labs--a major 
pharmaceutical house, with annual sales of over $12 billion--to manufacture 
and market it. The potential market for Hextend is estimated at $400 million 
per year.

BioTime has also recently raised another $7.3 million in a rights offering 
that was over-subscribed. Its stock listing (BTIM) has been moved from the 
NASDAQ small caps to the NASDAQ national market pages. BioTime has also 
apparently endowed a program at UCalBerkeley/Berkeley Lab for aging studies; 
the research committee will be chaired by Prof. PaolaTimiras. The main people 
at BioTime are all cryonicists.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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