Cell Therapy Catapult signs multiple collaboration agreements

With the aim of accelerating the development of regenerative medicine

The UK's Cell Therapy Catapult has agreed four separate collaborations worth £6.3m with multiple partners to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine with support from Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board.

The agreement with Plasticell is a further investment in a therapeutic programme using CombiCult, the high throughput stem cell technology designed to solve bottlenecks in regenerative medicine development. The consortium also includes the University of Oxford. This will allow the group to develop a process to expand cord blood stem cells ex vivo using Plasticell’s media.

Meanwhile, TAP Biosystems, part of Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group, is developing a small scale, single-use bioreactor that can be applied to cell therapy applications and to liaise with regulatory agencies on the levels of validation required for the system to be adopted into Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities. Achieving this is expected to reduce cell therapy development cost and time and accelerate delivery of novel cell therapies to patients.

In a third deal, Azellon, a spin out from the University of Bristol, will develop an improved product and manufacturing process suitable for commercialisation for its cell bandage for the repair of torn meniscus. Other members of the consortium include the University of Liverpool and NHS Blood and Transplant.

As previously announced, US biopharmaceutical company Athersys will support a Phase IIa clinical study evaluating the administration of MultiStem cell therapy to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. ARDS is a serious immunological and inflammatory condition characterised by widespread inflammation in the lungs. The deal will provide support over the course of the study, which will be conducted by Athersys at leading clinical sites in the UK with the Cell Therapy Catapult.

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