Cell therapy weekly: stem cells produce positive clinical trial results in stroke patients

Also this week: major cell and gene therapy point-of-care collaboration with John Hopkins University (MD, USA) and a boost to new biotechology companies in Pennsylvania (USA).

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The news highlights:

Stem cells produce positive clinical trial results in stroke patients
Major new point-of-care cell and gene therapy collaboration with John Hopkins University
New sponsorship program to boost early stage biotech from Pennsylvanian Biotechnology Center

Stem cells produce positive clinical trial results in stroke patients

The ReNeuron Group (Guildford, UK) have published positive results from their Phase IIa clinical trial, where they evaluated the effect of CTX stem cells on the level of disability that followed an ischemic stroke. In their single-arm study (PISCES-2), the group demonstrated positive results after the treatment, quantified by measuring the level of disability and dependence. At 12 months 50% of patients were responders, demonstrating an increase of at least one-point – a clinically significant improvement on quality of life.

"We are delighted to see the positive results of the PISCES-2 clinical trial of our CTX cell therapy candidate for stroke disability published in this highly regarded peer-reviewed journal," commented Olav Hellebø, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron.   

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Major new point-of-care cell and gene therapy collaboration with John Hopkins University

Orgenesis (MD, USA) have announced a major collaboration with John Hopkins University (MD, USA) for the development and processing of cell and gene-based therapies. The collaboration will utilize Orgenesis’s point-of-care platform to bring advanced therapeutics such as immunotherapy directly to the patient.

“JHU has unparalleled capabilities in the cell and gene therapy sector. Our POCare platform is designed to provide unique cell and gene therapy solutions in a cost effective, high quality and scalable manner, using closed systems and other advanced cell processing technologies at the point of care” explained Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis. “We look forward to utilizing our POCare platform to support JHU’s growing development and processing needs in order to advance and accelerate cell and gene based clinical therapeutic research. We believe this collaboration with JHU, a clear leader in the field of cell and gene therapy, further validates the significant value proposition of our POCare platform. Moreover, this is the third major agreement signed by an international institution in recent months to utilize Orgenesis’ POCare solutions.”

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New sponsorship program to boost early stage biotech from Pennsylvanian Biotechnology Center

The Pennsylvanian Biotechnology Center (PA, USA) has launched a new strategic program to support and encourage the growth of early stage biotech companies. The ‘non-profit life science incubator’ has been widely acknowledged as one of the most successful in the country at offering support to fledging companies. Through Hatch Biofund Management (PA, USA), the organization has identified 40 areas that they will offer vital support in.

“A novel concept to be employed in the program," explained Vlad Walko, the CEO of Hatch, "is the creation of what we are calling the 'Sponsors Village.' As part of the membership, [Pennsylvanian Biotechnology Center] will provide a permanent office to sponsors in an office community being created next to the Incubator at Discovery Labs (PA, USA). There, the sponsors will offer scheduled hours, interface daily with the early stage companies, and become part of the ecosystem. At this site, sponsors will not only witness the birth of the new Cell and Gene Therapy industry in Philadelphia, but also gain an opportunity to create new products and services as the industry evolves."

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For more weekly cell therapy news, read previous editions of the cell therapy weekly.

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