Plasticell wins £1.3m funding for cord blood stem cell manufacturing
10 February 2015
Innovate UK has awarded a grant of £1.3m to a research
consortium led by Plasticell for a project to expand cord blood stem
cell production using the company's technology.
The project entitled 'Ex-vivo expansion of cord blood
and bone marrow stem cells' will use Plasticell's CombiCult high
throughput stem cell technology to produce stem cells for
regenerative medicine. The project consortium includes the University
of Oxford and the Cell Therapy Catapult.
While bone marrow is currently the primary source of stem cells
for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), donor cells
have to be immunologically matched to the recipient, resulting in
demand far outstripping supply. In contrast, donated cord blood is
plentiful and contains a high proportion of stem cells with a lower
risk of tissue rejection despite immunological mismatch. HSCT from
cord blood is currently limited by the low number of total cells
present in each donated unit.
Using CombiCult, Plasticell has tested millions of combinations
of cell culture components to develop cord blood expansion media
which amplify stem cells by up to 100-fold. This grant will allow
the consortium to develop a clinically compliant process to expand
cord blood stem cells ex vivo using Plasticell’s media, allowing
more patients to be treated with this life-saving therapy.
Dennis Saw, Chief Executive of Plasticell, said: “Using CombiCult, our team of stem cell
scientists is successfully tackling some of the most difficult
problems in regenerative medicine, as is demonstrated by the
development of highly effective cord blood expansion media. Since
2007, Plasticell has been awarded a number of competitive grants
from the Technology Strategy Board, now Innovate UK, which have
funded research projects costing an approximate £8.3m in total.
These awards recognise our industry experience and continued
innovation at the cutting edge of stem cell research & development.”