New Cell Therapies for Central Nervous System Diseases Using IPSC-Derived Products
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN & SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – November 29th, 2017 – REPROCELL, Inc. announced a collaborative research agreement with Q Therapeutics, Inc. that combines each company’s proprietary technologies to develop new iPS cell (IPSC) therapies for central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
Q Therapeutics has patented a process to manufacture glial-restricted progenitor (GRP) cells from any tissue source. GRPs have been proven safe and effective in several pre-clinical CNS disease models. Q Therapeutics has obtained Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance from the FDA in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis (both orphan indications) for its adult cell product, Q-CELLS™.
REPROCELL has developed a proprietary process to manufacture integration-free, virus-free and clinically relevant human iPSC lines using proprietary RNA reprogramming technology. This process is suitable for manufacturing robust, consistent and high quality functional cells at commercial scale.
Combining these technologies will enable rapid generation of therapeutic-grade, iPSC-derived GRPs to generate safety and efficacy data in preclinical disease models. Q Therapeutics’ expertise in obtaining regulatory approval in the United States and REPROCELL’s ongoing clinical partnerships in Japan enable them to work toward
approval of IPSC-derived products on a global scale.
“I am excited to announce this collaboration with Q Therapeutics and their scientific co-founder, Dr. Mahendra Rao. It enables us to accelerate our therapeutic regenerative medicine business using iPS cells. I am also honored to step into contributing to unmet medical needs like ALS and TM using our proprietary iPS cell technology”, said Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama, CEO for REPROCELL.
“We are excited to work with REPROCELL to develop therapeutic products from multiple tissue sources. This has the potential to advance our position as a global player in cellular therapeutics and advance our patented products and manufacturing processes toward multiple clinical trials”, said Steven Borst, CEO for Q Therapeutics.
“The PMDA and the Japanese government have provided a clear path for accelerated development of regenerative medicine therapies. This iPSC collaboration holds the promise of quickly developing therapeutic products that are engineered to address disease-specific needs”, said, Dr. Mahendra Rao, Chief Strategy Officer & Scientific Co-Founder-Q Therapeutics and Former Director of the NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine.
About REPROCELL, INC.
REPROCELL was established in 2003 with a goal of contributing to people’s health and welfare through the development of stem cell technologies. REPROCELL successfully went public in 2013 as the first iPS cell company on JASDAQ, Tokyo Stock Exchange Market, and then started to expand their business to global rapidly through several M&As. REPROCELL are pursuing two business areas of Discovery and Medical using proprietary human cell technologies including stem cells, biorepository, bioengineered tissue and drug screening.
For more information, see www.reprocell.com.
About Q Therapeutics
Q Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing adult stem cell therapies to treat debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disease and injury. The Company’s first therapeutic product candidate, Q-Cells®, is intended to restore or preserve normal CNS activity by supplying essential nerve cell functions. Q-Cells may be suitable to treat a range of CNS disorders, including demyelinating conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis ™, cerebral palsy and stroke, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases and injuries such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. Q Therapeutics’ initial clinical targets are TM and ALS, with INDs in both indications now cleared to proceed by the FDA. For more information, see www.qthera.com.