Stevenage (UK), Castres (France) 23 February 2016 : Plasticell, the biotechnology company specializing in stem cell differentiation, and Pierre Fabre, the 2nd largest independent French Pharmaceutical laboratory, have today announced the signing of a collaboration agreement. The two companies will work together to discover plant-based products that enhance the metabolic function of brown adipose tissue (BAT) – also known as ‘brown fat’.
Plasticell will screen Pierre Fabre’s ‘Nature Open Library’ collection, one of the most important private plant libraries in the world numbering over 15000 phytochemical extracts, to identify natural products that increase the metabolic activity and other specific functions of BAT. In addition, Plasticell scientists may collaborate with Pierre Fabre botanists, phyto-chemists and regulatory specialists in the further development of products.
The collaboration will focus initially on screening extracts derived from the edible parts of plants, with the aim of developing functional foods or nutraceuticals.
“This first collaboration with “Nature Open Library” in UK demonstrates that our open innovation initiative can really promote new uses of plant extracts in many areas or domains, worldwide. We are confident and will do our best with Plasticell’s team to succeed in this project” said Laurent Audoly Director R&D Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals.
“Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death, however only a handful of drugs exist to treat this condition - these have at best modest efficacy and potentially serious side effects. We aim to discover safe natural products that act on a newly discovered subtype of adipose tissue to increase the body’s energy expenditure, promoting weight loss without dieting and exercise”, commented Dr Yen Choo, the Chairman of Plasticell.
About brown adipose tissue (BAT) and possible use of future products
BAT is a highly specialised fat tissue that burns excess calories to produce heat. Though abundant in new-born babies, where it is essential to maintain body temperature, the levels of brown fat decline with age, making the tissue difficult to source for medical research. Using its stem cell differentiation platform (CombiCult®), Plasticell has developed a robust and highly efficient method of producing rare BAT cells directly from human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs), which are easily sourced and relatively abundant. Higher levels of BAT are correlated with leaner individuals and increased glucose tolerance, suggesting that BAT activation may protect against weight gain, obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.
About Nature Open Library :
Nature Open Library is a unique Open Innovation program launched by Pierre Fabre Laboratories allowing them to share their expertise with innovative project initiators, from research and development to industrialization of plant active principles. In this context, Pierre Fabre Laboratories provide access to their private plant collection, one of the most important in the industry, numbering over 15.000 classified samples. This collection has been developed in accordance with biodiversity access regulations (Rio Convention and Nagoya Protocol). Through Nature Open Library, Pierre Fabre Laboratories will help its future partners to boost their innovative process by offering them access to their interdisciplinary teams mastering the entire phyto-industrial value chain. For more information, please visit: https://nature-open-library-pierre-fabre.force.com
About Plasticell Ltd
Plasticell is a pioneering UK biotechnology company specialising in high throughput stem cell technologies. Founded in 2002, Plasticell has longstanding expertise in stem cell research, particularly in directed stem cell differentiation. The company is advised by an eminent Scientific Advisory Board that includes two Nobel laureates. Plasticell’s proprietary, award-winning technology, CombiCult®, is a bead-based high throughput screening platform developed specifically for use in stem cell research. CombiCult® allows cell culture variables to be tested in tens of thousands of combinations for rapid and cost effective discovery of optimal protocols for the differentiation of adult or pluripotent stem cells. Using this technology, Plasticell is developing both drug and cell therapies and collaborates with industry and academic partners to produce high value differentiated cells and culture media for drug discovery and cell therapy applications. For more information please visit: www.plasticell.co.uk
About Pierre Fabre Laboratories
Pierre Fabre is a private pharmaceuticals and dermo-cosmetics company founded in 1961 by Mr. Pierre Fabre. Its turnover reached over 2.2 billion Euros* in 2015, spread over 130 countries. The company is structured around two divisions: Pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs, consumer health care) and Dermo-cosmetics (including the Europe and Asia market-leader brand Eau Thermale Avène). Pierre Fabre employs some 11,000 people worldwide and owns subsidiaries in 43 countries. In 2015, the company allocated 16 percent of its pharmaceuticals sales to R&D with a focus on 4 therapeutic areas: oncology, dermatology, CNS and consumer health care.
Pierre Fabre laboratories have always developed durable and valuable scientific partnerships with innovators from public research institutions (CRNS, Inserm, …), faculties and universities (Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, Université de Saclay,…), biotech companies (Array, BioPharma, AbCheck, Cellectar, …) and international pharmaceutical laboratories (Allergan, Merck & Co., Abbvie, Maruho, …).
Through the Group’s controlling company Pierre Fabre Participations, Pierre Fabre is 86% owned by the PierreFabre Foundation, a recognized public-interest organization since 1999. Up to 7.8% of the remaining shares are held by the company’s employees and balance is held as treasury stock.
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*2015 financial results currently being audited
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