ReNeuron and CellSeed announce collaboration using ReNcellTM liver cell lines. 30/11/06
Guildford, UK, 30 November 2006: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) and CellSeed Inc., a privately owned tissue engineering company based in Tokyo, Japan, today announce the signing of a collaboration agreement to develop novel, patented liver cell culture systems for drug safety screening in the pharmaceutical industry.
The development work, to be conducted in CellSeed’s laboratories in Tokyo, will establish protocols for efficiently developing ReNeuron’s patented ReNcellTM HEP hepatocyte cell lines in combination with CellSeed’s UpCell and HydroCell temperature-sensitive polymer products for 3-dimensional functional liver tissue. 3-D liver culture systems represent the most effective way to assay for human liver toxicity of new drugs. The collaboration will enable the joint development of new, high-value, human cell-based drug discovery products for use in the pharmaceutical industry. If the collaboration is successful, these products are expected to be launched in 2007.
ReNeuron’s ReNcellTM HEP cell lines, developed with the Company’s proprietary c-mycERTAM cell expansion technology, express similar markers for drug metabolism as those seen with primary adult hepatocytes. Unlike primary hepatocytes, however, ReNcellTM HEP cells can be readily expanded to provide a stable, plentiful and well-characterised source of liver cells for cell-based toxicology screening applications.
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We very much look forward to working with CellSeed. They have developed the ideal complementary technology required to take our ReNcellTMHEP cell lines into the engineered tissue field, in order to provide the next generation of commercial drug discovery tools.”
Dr Yukio Hasegawa, President and CEO of CellSeed said:
“We are delighted to be working with a company as innovative as ReNeuron. The combination of CellSeed’s UpCell 3-dimensional cell-sheet engineering technology with ReNeuron’s cell expansion expertise provides the basis of a completely novel drug screening system.”
Notes to editors
About ReNeuron Group plc
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based adult stem cell therapy business. The Group is applying its novel stem cell platform technologies in the development of ground-breaking stem cell therapies to serve significant and unmet or poorly-met clinical needs.
ReNeuron has used its c-mycERTAM technology to generate genetically stable neural stem cell lines. This technology platform has multi-national patent protection and is fully regulated by means of a chemically-induced safety switch. Cell growth can therefore be completely arrested prior to in vivo implantation.
The Group’s lead stem cell therapy, ReN001 for chronic stroke disability, is in late pre-clinical development. The Company plans to file for approval to commence a Phase I clinical study in stroke by the end of 2006, with the study commencing as soon as possible thereafter. There are an estimated 50 million1 stroke survivors worldwide, approximately half of which are left with permanent disabilities. The healthcare costs of caring for these patients is estimated to amount to $45 billion2 in the US alone.
ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas � its ReNcellTM range of cell lines for use in research and in drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical industry.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L, and its warrants are traded under the symbol RENW.L.
Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
- MOSES (Morbidity and mortality after stroke � Eprosartan vs nitrendipine for secondary prevention) study, Feb 2006
- American Heart Association, Reporting Standards for Carotid Artery Angioplasty and Stent Placement, (Stroke, 2004; 35:e112).
About CellSeed Inc.
CellSeed Inc. is a Japan-based biotechnology innovator committed to development and commercialisation of highly differentiated tissue-engineered products for patients that are not sufficiently served by current medical technologies.
CellSeed owns novel cell-sheet engineering technology developed by Professor Okano at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. The core technology is based on grafting any kind of synthetic polymers to organic materials covalently at nano-thickness level. When CellSeed’s temperature-responsive polymers are grafted to the cell culture surface, the recovery of intact cells retaining important cell surface proteins becomes possible through temperature control. This process avoids the use of potentially damaging enzymatic treatment such as the use of trypsin when detaching cells from the cell culture surface. Cells cultured in this way can be collected in a form of contiguous cell-sheet rather than as isolated cells. This tissue requires no suture when grafted to patients and the cell-sheets can be piled together to create 3-dimensional tissue.
CellSeed’s lead product is regenerated living cornea epithelium, targeting poor epithelium recovery after corneal grafts and persistent epithelial defects. An IND for this product is being filed in Europe, with initiation of clinical trials expected in 2007.
Cellseed is also applying its core technology beyond tissue-regeneration. The Company is distributing its novel cell cultureware products, such as RepCell and HydroCell, for the worldwide research market. The Company also recently launched its Aqua Way series, a novel HPLC column which separates small molecules, peptides and proteins using a temperature-controlled method.
Further information on CellSeed can be found at www.cellseed.com.
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel: 44 (0)1483 302 560
Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 3113