Thursday, October 11, 2018
ROSLINCT, a leading cell and gene therapy contract manufacturing organisation, today announced it is to receive a £1.2 million investment to collaborate with REPROCELL Europe Ltd (REPROCELL), a UK-based stem cell company, on a project which will develop a faster, more cost-effective method of producing clinical-grade induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The investment comes from Innovate UK’s Medicines Manufacturing Round 2 competition, as part of the UK Government investment strategy in developing technology to transform health and social care.
To date, most research into iPSCs, which are considered one of the most promising seed cell sources in regenerative medicine, has been early stage. A major challenge is the production of iPSCs suitable for clinical use. With this investment, ROSLINCT and REPROCELL will develop an innovative strategy for the production of clinical iPSCs, by using a novel, safe RNA-based reprogramming method. This will enable quicker and safer generation of cells for both allogeneic and autologous therapies, and provide scope for commercialisation and licensing of the generated cell lines to the biotechnology sector.
The iPSCs will provide a suitable starting material for a number of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) that offer ground breaking opportunities for the treatment of life-changing and life-threatening disease and injury, including those where patients’ needs are currently unmet. Bringing together the expertise of ROSLINCT and REPROCELL will provide a step change in the production of clinical grade iPSCs and centre the know-how and manufacturing within the UK.
Janet Downie, CEO of ROSLINCT, said: “This investment provides a fantastic opportunity to combine the expertise of ROSLINCT and REPROCELL, enabling two Scottish SMEs to develop a competitive and disruptive impact on the supply of clinical iPSCs, therefore accelerating the development of potentially life changing therapies.”
Dr David Bunton, CEO of REPROCELL, commented: “The creation of therapeutic stem cells using RNA is the safest and fastest method available. When combined with the automation and manufacturing capabilities of ROSLINCT, we aim to make it easy for companies with new therapies to rapidly and cost-efficiently enter clinical trials and then scale-up for commercial manufacturing.”