Research partnership announced on neural stem cell research program for Huntington’s disease and other conditions.
Hot on the heels of announcing a partnership with a mystery Japanese biopharma firm, Longevity-focused biotech firm, AgeX Therapeutics (NYSE American: AGE), today announced a research collaboration with the University of California, Irvine using AgeX’s PureStem technology to derive neural stem cells, with the goal of developing cellular therapies to treat neurological disorders and diseases.
The collaboration’s initial focus will be on Huntington’s disease, while other potential targets may include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke. Initial R&D work, expected to take approximately one year, will be conducted in the UCI laboratory of Professor Leslie Thompson, a leading researcher in the field of Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders.
The collaboration combines clinical validation with commercial opportunity, with an option for AgeX Therapeutics to organise a company to be jointly owned with Professor Thompson and other researchers to pursue clinical development and commercialisation of cell therapies derived using licensed inventions arising from the research programme.
“This is an example of the kind of collaboration we will be seeking under our newly-unveiled collaboration and licensing strategy…”
“This is an example of the kind of collaboration we will be seeking under our newly-unveiled collaboration and licensing strategy,” said Greg Bailey, MD, Chairman of AgeX. “In this instance, we will be collaborating with a world leader in their field on a research project which is close to the clinic.”
The primary goal of the research is to develop a robust method of deriving 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,” said Professor Thompson. “Our goal is to have an improved neural stem cell production method ready within a year to move into clinical development.”
“Our goal is to have an improved neural stem cell production method ready within a year to move into clinical development…”
“We are delighted to start this exciting collaboration with Professor Thompson, who has worked tirelessly over her career to develop a neural stem cell product candidate for Huntington’s disease and who has already generated preclinical animal data that may support the initiation of clinical studies,” said Dr Nafees Malik, Chief Operating Officer of AgeX. “Moreover, we are very excited to be entering the field of neurology, which has huge clinical and commercial potential. Neural stem cells may be very useful in other neurological disorders that are common in aging demographics, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke.”