The Cell Therapy Catapult has announced four separate collaborations with multiple-partners to deliver health and wealth to the UK through support from Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board.
The agreement with Plasticell is a further investment in a therapeutic programme utilising CombiCult®, the high throughput stem cell technology designed to solve bottlenecks in regenerative medicine development. The consortium also includes the University of Oxford. This will allow the group to develop a process to expand cord blood stem cells ex vivo using Plasticell’s media, allowing more patients to be treated with potentially life-saving therapies.
Based in Cambridge, TAP Biosystems, which is part of Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group, is developing with the Cell Therapy Catapult, a small scale, single-use bioreactor that can be applied to cell therapy applications and to liaise with regulatory agencies on the levels of validation required for the system to be adopted into Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities. Achieving this this will reduce cell therapy development cost and time and accelerate delivery of novel cell therapies to patients.
And in a third deal, Azellon Ltd, will develop an improved product and manufacturing process suitable for commercialisation for its cell bandage for repair of torn meniscus. Other members of the consortium include the University of Liverpool and NHS Blood and Transplant.
As previously announced, Athersys Limited (an affiliate of Athersys, Inc.) (Nasdaq:ATHX) will support a Phase 2a clinical study evaluating the administration of MultiStem® cell therapy to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. ARDS is a serious immunological and inflammatory condition characterised by widespread inflammation in the lungs. The deal will provide support over the course of the study, which will be conducted by Athersys Limited at leading clinical sites in the UK in conjunction with the Cell Therapy Catapult.
Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said: "As part of four independent research and development collaborative awards to a total value of £6.3 million, we are delighted to be playing a pivotal role in delivering these programmes which have the potential to accelerate the growth of the cell therapy industry to generate health and wealth.”
For more information, please contact:
David Robertson, Head of Communications, Cell Therapy Catapult: