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International Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Community Convenes in Banff, Alberta

OTTAWA, ONTARIO and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct 21, 2013) - Stem cell and regenerative medicine experts from around the world will physically and virtually come together in Banff, Alberta, when Canada's premier stem cell research event - the Till & McCulloch Meetings (T&MM) - takes place October 23-25, 2013.

"Canada and Europe chose the same dates to host their most significant regenerative medicine events and we're utilizing technology to bring the two conferences together," explains Drew Lyall, Executive Director of the Stem Cell Network. "While our European colleagues won't get to enjoy the beauty of Alberta, they will benefit from hearing some thrilling science, produced in Canada."

A novel technology discovered in Dr. Peter Zandstra's lab, which has the potential to improve the viability and success of cord blood stem cell transplantation, will be featured during a live broadcast to the World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig, Germany, on October 24 at 8:45 a.m. Dr. Zandstra (University of Toronto and CSO with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine) has received the 2013 Till & McCulloch Award for having published the year's most influential peer-reviewed article by a stem cell researcher in Canada.

Other highlights include the following:

October 23 at 12:20 p.m.

The conference will premiere and showcase a series of short, animated videos about basic concepts in stem cell research narrated by world-renowned stem cell scientists. The videos are produced by Ben Paylor, a PhD candidate in experimental medicine at the University of British Columbia, and Mike Long, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, who engaged award-winning animator David Murowsky and Emmy-nominated composer James Wallace to create the signature animations and music featured in the videos. The three videos are targeted at youth of high school age or older. More details about the videos and the award can be found here: http://bit.ly/15GBOsw.

October 23 at 2:10 p.m.

An afternoon plenary session will focus on current research in cell therapy. The session will include presentations by Dr. Duncan Stewart (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) on lessons learned in bringing cell therapies to the clinic. He will focus on his recently launched stem cell clinical trial for the treatment of acute heart attack, as well as offer overviews of Canada's strategy for stem cell research going forward and the emerging regenerative medicine technologies market.

"The regenerative medicine market is poised to experience explosive growth in the near future, based on the increasing number of clinical trials, deals, IPOs [initial public offerings] and partnerships happening globally," says Michael May, CEO of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). "Canada's leadership in the field of regenerative medicine is already well known, and it is with events and collaborations like the Till & McCulloch Meetings that we will continue to build a strong infrastructure for future growth in Canada. The fact that this year's conference has engaged 39 industry sponsors - more than twice the number that participated last time - is an indication of just how far we've progressed in a short time."

The Till & McCulloch Meetings, formerly the Stem Cell Network's Annual Scientific Meeting, was renamed in 2012 to acknowledge its expanded focus to include the broader field of regenerative medicine and the business focus of commercializing stem cell- and biomaterials-based products and therapies. In addition to excellent science originating from Canada, Japan, China, Israel, Europe and the United States, the conference will feature industry networking meetings and international efforts to share resources to accelerate progress in commercializing new discoveries.

The Stem Cell Network and CCRM would like to acknowledge the principal sponsors of this year's T&MM and thank them for their support: BD Biosciences (Title Sponsor), STEMCELL Technologies, Applikon Biotechnology, Beckman Coulter, BioSpherix, Cedarlane, ISSCR, GE Healthcare, MACS Miltenyi Biotec, University of Ottawa, PeproTech and TAP Biosystems.

About the Till & McCulloch Meetings

The Till & McCulloch Meetings are Canada's premier stem cell research event. As the only conference of its kind in Canada, the Till & McCulloch Meetings provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and research among Canada's leading stem cell scientists, clinicians, bioengineers and ethicists, as well as representatives from industry, government, health and NGO sectors from around the world. The Stem Cell Network and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine are pleased to be co-hosting the 2013 Meetings, which will be held in Banff, Alberta October 23-25, 2013. http://www.tillandmcculloch.ca

About the Stem Cell Network

The Stem Cell Network, established in 2001, brings together more than 100 leading scientists, clinicians, engineers, and ethicists from universities and hospitals across Canada. The Network supports cutting-edge projects that translate research discoveries into new and better treatments for millions of patients in Canada and around the world. Hosted by the University of Ottawa, the Stem Cell Network is one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence funded through Industry Canada and its three granting councils. www.stemcellnetwork.ca

About the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)

CCRM, a Canadian not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence program and six academic partners, supports the development of technologies that accelerate the commercialization of stem cell- and biomaterials-based technologies and therapies. A network of academics, industry and entrepreneurs, CCRM aims to translate scientific discoveries into marketable products for patients. CCRM launched in Toronto's Discovery District on June 14, 2011. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto. www.ccrm.ca