Last updated: 08/04/2013
Closing date: 08/04/2014
A UK startup has launched a platform technology of growth factor conjugates, for drastically increased cellular response. In-vivo-like efficacy is achieved at concentrations typically 10&100x lower. It is expected to improve existing protocols and to enable development of new differentiation pathways. Stem cell laboratories in the industry and academia are sought for commercial agreements for the already characterised conjugates. Technical and R&D collaboration is sought for developing new ones.
Stem cells hold great promise in medicine and life science. Cellular therapies for a wide variety of injuries and diseases have reached the clinic including therapeutic modalities for spinal cord repair, retinal degeneration and joint defects. Moreover, since human pluripotent cells (hPSCs) can now be developed from adult tissue, using induced PSC technology, autologous stem cell therapy, without risk of transplant rejection, has become a possibility.
Price and efficacy of growth factors (binding of a growth factor to its receptor triggers a cascade of events which influence the development of a cell) are widely cited throughout the stem cell industry as barriers to commercialization of stem cell therapy.
A UK startup has acquired and keeps developing further an IP platform that drastically alleviates the above two problems. It works by multivalent tethering of growth factors to a backbone structure that coordinates the activity of the attached growth factors. These simple growth factor conjugates (see the Picture), which resemble beads on a string, hugely out-perform standard growth factors. On average, the tethered growth factors produce the same cellular response at two orders of magnitude lower concentrations. At the same time, the magnitude of response and the quality of cellular product increased.
As such, the platform technology will have great impact in two respects:
- difficult-to-generate cell types, such as dopaminergic neurons;
- cost-critical industrial applications.
The technology has performed very well on the conjugates characterised so far and is expected to apply in most other cases.
The UK startup is seeking different kinds of collaborations. For the already characterised conjugates they are seeking commercial agreements with technical assistance. Technical collaboration and also joint R&D projects are sought with stem cell labs pursuing distinct differentiation pathways.
The innovation lies in conjugation of multiple growth factors to a liquid phase flexible backbone.
The advantages include:
- Receiving similar cellular response from lower (100 fold on average) concentrations;
- Achieving in-vivo-like efficacy and purer cell populations.
Partner expertise sought:
- Type of partner sought: industry and academia;
- Specific area of activity of the partner: research into stem cells;
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: stem cell labs worldwide can obtain some growth factor conjugates supported by technical advice, and jointly test applications for many others.
Listed under: Medicine and Health \ Life Sciences \ Biosciences and Health \ Drug Discovery and Development
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