Regenerative medicine company Cynata Therapeutics (ASX: CYP) has partnered up with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in a bid to develop a stem cell treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD) led by Dr Kristopher Kilian, Scientia Fellow at the UNSW School of Chemistry and School of Materials Science and Engineering.
According to medical researchers, CAD is the primary cause of heart attacks and accounts for roughly one-third of all deaths of people over 35 in developed countries.
Both Cynata and the UNSW have agreed to conduct pre-clinical research and hope to move their research into more substantial clinical trials in future. According to Cynata, the newly-agreed venture is “complementary” to its ongoing preclinical research.
Cynata is currently developing a multipurpose stem cell technology platform that aims to treat a variety of ailments including steroid-resistant acute GvHD.
Its proprietary Cymerus stem cell technology utilises induced pluripotent stem cells and a recently identified precursor cell, known as a “mesenchymoangioblast”, to achieve the economic manufacture of cell therapy products, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) at commercial scale.
Its progress in the biotech space has attracted the attention of the UNSW who have agreed to partner with Cynata using funding secured via the Science Industry Network Seed Fund 2018.
Cynata and UNSW have entered into a 50/50 cost-sharing agreement to fund initial preclinical research and product development at UNSW, with both parties providing in-kind and matching cash contributions.
The public-private sector collaboration will develop methods for activating Cynata’s Cymerus MSCs using “novel cell culture materials”, with the ultimate goal of stimulating new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and improving the blood supply to the heart in patients with CAD.
“The use of designer cell culture materials to customise the therapeutic properties of MSCs holds great promise for specialised medical applications, including the treatment of CAD. We believe Cynata’s Cymerus technology offers several important advantages for the production of consistent and efficacious therapeutic MSCs and look forward to applying the platform in our research to improve treatment options in CAD,” said Dr Kristopher Kilian.
“This collaboration will focus on the development of customised MSCs that address CAD before a heart attack occurs, which complements our ongoing preclinical research program evaluating Cymerus MSCs as a treatment for heart attack. We look forward to working with Dr Kilian and UNSW on this exciting collaboration, with the goal of rapidly progressing the research into the clinic,” said Dr Kilian Kelly, Cynata’s vice president of product development.