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November 3, 2009

Escape identifies a novel osteogenic differentiation pathway in mesenchymal stem cells.
Escape Therapeutics announces the online publication of its research on bone marrow-derived stromal cells, also known as mesenchymal stem cells. The article is titled "Transforming growth factor beta1 induces osteogenic differentiation of murine bone marrow stromal cells" and was led by Escape scientists Drs. Longmei Zhao, MD, PhD, and Shu Jiang, MD, PhD. The study sheds light on a novel osteogenic differentiation pathway that is induced by transforming growth factor beta 1 through upregulation of a key osteogenic master transcription regulator known as TAZ. This pathway is significant because it does not depend on traditional factors such as bone morphogenic proteins, which have previously been thought to play a key role in bone regeneration. Recent studies have shown that bone morphogenic proteins levels remain low post-fracture, casting doubt about their physiological relevance. Peripheral blood levels of transforming growth factor beta 1, on the other hand, rise dramatically within 2 weeks post-fracture. This is the first report demonstrating the upregulation of TAZ activity in mesenchymal stem cells by a physiological growth factor present during acute bone injury. The senior author on the article is Dr. Basil M. Hantash, MD, PhD, Escape's CEO.

2010 Escape Therapeutics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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