Cell therapy weekly: Miltenyi Biotec and ATLATL co-found Shanghai cell and gene therapy center
This week: BioLife Solutions acquires Astero Bio and Cell Mogrify receives Innovate UK funding
The news highlights:
ATLATL Center (Shanghai, China) and Miltenyi Biotec (Germany) have co-founded the ATLATL-MACS Center for Gene and Cell Therapy with the aim of accelerating cell and gene therapy development by removing current hurdles such as training, cost of translation and establishment of rigorous standard operating procedures. The Center was almost a year in construction and will cover the entire biomedical industry chain, and companies utilizing the Center will have access to over 10 million euros-worth of cutting-edge instrumentation.
BioLife Solutions, Inc. (WA, USA) will acquire Astero Bio Corporation (CA, USA) for an upfront payment of US$8 million. Astero develops and commercializes novel automated thawing devices. The acquisition will broaden BioLife’s portfolio of bioproduction tools as well as increasing their footprint and customer base. The transaction also includes 20 pending patents.
Commercialization of cell therapies – biopreservation’s make or break impact: read our interview with BioLife CEO Mike Rice>>
Mike Rice, BioLife CEO, commented, "The addition of Astero's products supports our mission of building a broader cell and gene therapy tools company that we believe will offer more value to our customers in the high-growth regenerative medicine market. Reimbursement of cell and gene therapies is evolving into a "pay on cure" paradigm, with payment predicated on a positive patient response. Like our biopreservation media products, Astero products mitigate the risk of administering a non-viable dose. The synergies in this transaction include targeting the same customer base."
Cell Mogrify Ltd. (Cambridge, UK) has been awarded £420,000 (US$555,000) from Innovate UK (London, UK) to apply their patented bioinformatics program to translate three cell therapy products to the preclinical stage. Mogrify aims to accelerate cell therapy development by identifying small molecules or transcription factors that can differentiate one cell type to another.
Professor Julian Gough, Co-founder and CSO, Mogrify, commented: “We have already used our bioinformatic-approach to produce chondrocytes and microvascular endothelial cells by transdifferentiation and speed up the protocols for acquiring astrocytes, neurons and chondrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells. We…are confident that our technology has the potential to provide a platform technology on which any cell for cell therapy can be developed.”
For more weekly cell therapy news, read previous editions of the cell therapy weekly.