Organizations invest in stem cell research using unique approaches

By Andre Rickard, The Science Advisory Board contributing writer

March 23, 2022 -- Stem cell technology is increasingly being used and developed for a variety of therapeutic purposes, most notably for the treatment of damaged tissue. While these treatments have significant clinical potential, they also require extensive research and investment to support the development of these novel therapies.

The Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, the City of Hope Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and Fluidigm are some organizations that have recognized this need and made the decision to work toward actualizing this goal through various forms of R&D and technological advancements, according to Cell and Gene Therapy Business Outlook, a sister publication of ScienceBoard.

CGT Catapult-MICA Biosystems

The CGT Catapult is an independent innovation and technology organization committed to building and advancing cell and gene therapies. With the goal of helping to make cell and gene therapies more efficient, safer, scalable, and affordable, CGT Catapult involves itself in collaborations with academia, industry, and healthcare providers to drive the commercialization of these innovations. One example of these collaborations includes CGT Catapult's partnership with MICA Biosystems on stem cell technology. Through the collaboration, MICA will apply CGT Catapult's expertise in moving technologies through to clinical trials toward their own patented nanotechnology platform that controls patients' stem cells. The technology specifically uses these stem cells in situ to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissue. CGT Catapult will help to drive this technology forward. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

City of Hope-California Institute

City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The not-for-profit institution conducts a large amount of clinical research alongside hosting its own hospital and graduate medical school. In particular, City of Hope's Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine focuses on exploring novel questions related to stem cell and biology and learning how to apply this work toward regenerative medicine and cancer therapies. To further spark continued research into this area, the City of Hope's Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine has received a five-year grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to be used to mentor junior scientists at the City of Hope's Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. This $4.9 million grant will be invested in training the next generation of scientific leaders in stem cell research and its translation into lifesaving treatments.

Fluidigm-Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center

Fluidigm is a public company engaged in the design, manufacture, and sale of biological research equipment based on integrated fluidic circuit technology, also referred to as microfluidic devices. These technologies are used to provide multi-omic solutions to study cancer, inflammatory diseases, and immunotherapies. In line with this work, Fluidigm has entered into a collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) to develop targeted stem cell therapies and research applications utilizing two Fluidigm mass cytometry and tissue imaging technologies. As part of the collaboration, ADSCC will have early access to reagents and software under development by Fluidigm. Fluidigm will also enable ADSCC to participate in host events and prospect visits, in addition to product development discussions relating to Fluidigm's Helios and Hyperion Imaging systems. Financial details of this collaboration were not disclosed.

As the technology and research regarding stem cells continues to develop, its applications to fields like cancer and immunology become more tangible as possible therapeutic treatments. However, as a new and blossoming field, stem cell research requires continuous investment to reach its full potential. CGT Catapult, City of Hope's Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and Fluidigm have approached this problem from a variety of angles, ranging from the development of up-and-coming stem cell technologies to investment into education for future stem cell researchers. This diverse set of approaches to accelerating stem cell research will translate to meaningful improvements in the health and quality of life of patients that can benefit from such therapies.

To stay up to date on the latest business happenings in the cell and gene therapy industry, check out Cell & Gene Therapy Business Outlook today!

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