Atelerix receives Innovate UK grant for cell therapy preservation hydrogel

Published: 12-Sep-2019

The hydrogel tech increases shelf-life between 4°C and 25°C, increasing treatment flexibility as well as widening manufacturing options and driving down cost

Atelerix has been awarded a grant of £267,000 from Innovate UK. The grant will be used to develop gel stabilisation technologies, developed by Atelerix, with the first objective of extending the shelf-life of Rexgenero's cell-based therapies for storage and transport at room temperature.

The project will initially focus on developing a stabilisation technology for REX-001, regenerative medicine company, Rexgenero's, lead development candidate, but is expected to have broad applicability to a wide range of other cell therapies. The project will benefit from additional expertise and experience provided by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

The UK-based company has also recently closed a £700,000 funding round.

Patented technology

Atelerix's patented technology enables the storage and transport of human cells at temperatures between 4°C and 25°C, preserving and extending their functional viability from days to weeks. The technology encapsulates cells in a natural hydrogel for safe shipment and storage. The cells can be recovered when needed by the addition of a gentle, cell-friendly buffer.

REX-001 consists of bone marrow-derived white blood cells extracted from a patient's own bone marrow (autologous). Extending the shelf-life of REX-001 will provide increased flexibility for transportation to and from the hospital and facilitate use for physicians treating patients with CLI.

Joe Dupere, CEO of Rexgenero, said: "Extending the shelf-life of our REX-001 autologous cell therapy is important to ensure that hospitals have the flexibility for less rigid scheduling of operating theatres, making it easier to treat patients and therefore enabling as many patients as possible to be treated with this novel, potentially curative therapy. Room temperature storage and transportation also widens our manufacturing options and should help to drive down cost."

Dr Mick McLean, CEO of Atelerix, added: "We're excited to be part of this collaboration with Rexgenero and the team at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and we deeply appreciate the support of Innovate UK to bring us together for this important project. The critical logistics of getting viable cell therapies to the patient are often overlooked and extending the shelf life of therapies such as REX-001 at room temperature would open up an entirely new approach for this sector."

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