Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult launches pluripotent stem cell collaboration

CiRA Foundation and the Catapult will combine their expertise to explore novel methods to characterise pluripotent stem cells for the manufacture of regenerative medicinal products

CiRA Foundation and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) are launching a new collaborative research project focused on induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell characterisation.

The project aims to further the application of iPS cell technologies for the manufacture of regenerative medicine products.

The potential of distinct iPS cell lines for differentiation into specific cell types, such as cardiac muscle cells or white blood cells, is usually biased towards some cell line-specificity which is very difficult to predict. In order to select an appropriate iPS cell line for clinical trials, it is currently necessary to differentiate several candidate cell lines, which requires a great amount of time and effort.

By combining their expertise, the companies will explore novel methods of evaluating cell differentiation and aim to establish reliable tests to predict the potential of iPS cell to differentiation bias, a capability that would help to advance the use of iPS cells for regenerative medicine products.

Shinya Yamanaka, Representative Director of the CiRA Foundation, said: "We are very pleased to start our first collaborative research project since the launch of CiRA_F with Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, an institution whose world-class expertise in the cell therapy field is dedicated to the stimulation of partnership between academia and industry. We hope that results of this collaborative project aimed at the advancement of the clinical application of iPS cells will result in substantial progress towards commercialisation of regenerative medicine."

Matthew Durdy, CEO of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said: "We are honoured to collaborate with CiRA Foundation, an organisation with world-leading capabilities in iPS cell technology, and to be the first group to utilise CiRA's innovative iPS cell lines outside of Japan. This is a truly exciting project to help further the application and manufacture of iPS cells into cell therapies. We look forward to progressing this promising research together, which has potential benefits for the global advanced therapies industry."

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