Plasticell and EMD Millipore agree licensing deal

To distribute fully defined, xeno-free mesenchymal stem cell differentiation media

Plasticell, a UK stem cell differentiation specialist has licensed EMD Millipore, the life science division of Merck KGaA, to distribute a single-application osteogenic medium discovered using the CombiCult combinatorial screening system.

Plasticell says this medium is serum- and xeno-free, as well as more consistent and more potent than currently available formulations. Under the terms of the agreement, EMD Millipore has secured a licence to distribute the medium globally for research purposes, starting in the third quarter, with Plasticell retaining full rights over therapeutic applications.

Early adopters of the medium include Organovo, a San Diego, US-based biotech company developing tissue bioprinting applications.

Eric Michael David, Organovo’s chief strategy officer, commented: ‘Brief incubation of 3D tissue constructs generated with Organovo’s NovoGen MMX Bioprinter in Plasticell's CombiCult bone differentiation media produces tissue of impressive osteogenic potential, including key bone-specific and mineralisation markers.’

‘We found we could rapidly fabricate functional, fully human tissue derived from MSCs and the ECM proteins they produce. Plasticell's media enabled a remarkable efficiency in tissue fabrication and maturation, and we look forward to continuing to work with Plasticell's technology to generate additional bioprinted 3D tissues from well-characterised, renewable, quality cell sources such as MSCs.’

The optimised osteogenic medium was developed using the CombiCult to perform a rapid screen of more than 3,000 combinations of fully defined cell culture media.

‘The formulation of this medium in under three months from start to finish is a clear demonstration of the capability of the CombiCult technology to deliver market-leading products in record time,’ said Dr Jey Jeyakumar, the principal scientist who performed the factor screen and optimised the media formulation.

In contrast with all currently available osteogenic media, Plasticell’s formulation is fully defined (serum-free) and contains no xenogeneic components. Moreover, mineralisation can be detected in less than a week, whereas competing products that contain serum require approximately three weeks to attain similar levels of bone formation.

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