Latest developments compiled from 01 February — 31 March 2015.
Latest developments in the field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine compiled from publicly available information and press releases from non-academic institutions 01 February — 31 March 2015, scheduled to be published in Volume 10 Issue 5 of Regenerative Medicine.
Athersys (OH, USA; www.athersys.com) has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/innovate-uk), which will support a Phase 2a clinical study evaluating the administration of MultiStem® cell therapy to acute respiratory distress syndrome patients. The grant is expected to provide up to approximately US$ 3.0 (£2.0) million in support over the course of the study, which will be conducted by Athersys’ affiliate at leading clinical sites in the UK Therapy Catapult (https://ct.catapult.org.uk).
Coriell Institute for Medical Research (NJ, USA; www.coriell.org) has won a US$ 14 million grant through an open competition from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health. The five-year award supports the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository at Coriell, a dynamic collection of more than 11,300 cell lines and 5,700 DNA samples representing a variety of disease states, chromosomal abnormalities and healthy individuals across several distinct human populations.
Living Cell Technologies (New Zealand; www.lctglobal.com) and its 50%-owned joint venture Diatranz Otsuka Limited (New Zealand; www.dolglobal.com) has adopted a new development strategy for DIABECELL®. Diatranz will partner with its other 50% shareholder, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory (Japan; www.otsukakj.jp/en/) to support the development and launch of DIABECELL in USA. Diatranz retains a royalty-free right to commercialize DIABECELL outside USA and Japan. Diatranz’s funding requirements have reduced as a result of the new development strategy and the Otsuka loan facility has been amended to provide funding of up to US$ 20 (NZ$ 28) million. The new strategy will mean that Diatranz and Otsuka will focus on developing a DIABECELL product that will meet US FDA regulatory requirements. Approval by the FDA will facilitate approval for the product across the rest of the world.
Innovate UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/innovate-uk) will provide a grant of approximately US$ 2.0 (£1.3) million to a research consortium led by Plasticell (UK; http://www.plasticell.co.uk) for a project entitled Ex-vivo expansion of cord blood and bone marrow stem cells. The consortium includes the University of Oxford and the Cell Therapy Catapult (https://ct.catapult.org.uk). Using CombiCult®, Plasticell has tested millions of combinations of cell culture components to develop cord blood expansion media which amplify stem cells by up to 100-fold. This grant will allow the consortium to develop a clinically compliant process to expand cord blood stem cells ex vivo using PlasticellÊ¼s media.
Semma Therapeutics (MA, USA; www.semma-tx.com), a company developing a cell therapy for Type 1 diabetes, has closed a US$ 44 million Series A consisting of equity financing and strategic funding. The Series A financing is led by MPM Capital (CA, USA; www.mpmcapital.com), with Fidelity Biosciences (MA, USA; www.fidelitybiosciences.com), ARCH Venture Partners (IL, USA; www.archventure.com), and Medtronic (MN, USA; www.medtronic.com) participating. Alongside the equity financing, Semma entered into an undisclosed agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Switzerland; www.novartis.com). Semma is building on the scientific foundation laid by the work of Doug Melton’s group from Harvard .
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