Industry-Sponsored Research Week

UC-Irvine and AgeX Therapeutics to collaborate on neural stem cell research

By David Schwartz
Published: February 11th, 2020

The University of California, Irvine and AgeX Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, have entered a research collaboration that will use AgeX’s PureStem® technology to derive neural stem cells, with the goal of developing cellular therapies to treat neurological disorders and diseases for which there are no cures.

The first year of the collaboration will involve initial R&D work in the UCI laboratory of Leslie Thompson, PhD, a leading researcher in the field of Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders, under a research agreement handled by the Industry Sponsored Research team at UCI Beall Applied Innovation. The initial focus will be on Huntington’s disease, while other potential targets may include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.

The primary goal of the research will be to develop a way to derive neural stem cells from pluripotent stem cells in sufficient quantity and with sufficient purity and identity for use in cell-based therapy. Professor Thompson’s laboratory has already accumulated safety and efficacy animal data that may support an IND submission to the FDA as early as 2021 for the commencement of clinical trials to treat Huntington’s disease.

“We look forward to utilizing AgeX’s cell derivation and manufacturing PureStem technology, with its many potential advantages, including industrial scalable manufacturing, lower cost of goods, and clonal cells with high purity and identity. Our goal is to have an improved neural stem cell production method ready within a year to move into clinical development,” said Professor Thompson.

The agreement is part of a strategic shift for AgeX, which is looking to partner with universities to supplement its own R&D activity. “This is an example of the kind of collaboration we will be seeking under our newly-unveiled collaboration and licensing strategy, which is to run parallel to our in-house product development,” said Dr. Greg Bailey, chair of AgeX.

In the case of Dr. Thompson, he added, “we will be collaborating with a world leader in their field on a research project which is close to the clinic.”

The collaboration includes an opportunity for AgeX to organize a company to be jointly owned with Professor Thompson and other researchers to pursue clinical development and commercialization of cell therapies derived using licensed inventions arising from the research program, as well as certain patent pending technology for neural stem cell derivation, and certain technical data, including animal data, to support IND submissions.

Source: Business Wire

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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