Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company Cynata Therapeutics (ASX: CYP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Celularity Inc., a US-based biotech company focusing on regenerative cells and tissues.
The MoU will see Celularity conduct a commercial evaluation of Cynata’s patented Cymerus™ production method, in order to gauge its effectiveness when combined with Celularity’s proprietary therapeutic stem cell technology.
“Celularity’s US-focused team is the perfect partner to explore our unique Cymerus technology. We continue to seek new commercial opportunities for our Cymerus platform and this agreement builds on our existing strategic partnership with Fujifilm and represents a unique opportunity to expand our disease target areas into a number of significant markets, including the US,” said Dr. Ross Macdonald, CEO at Cynata Therapeutics.
Cynata’s proprietary Cymerus™ technology addresses a critical shortcoming in existing methods of production of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for therapeutic use, which is the ability to achieve economic manufacture at commercial scale.
Earlier this week, Cynata received news that the Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended Cynata’s clinical trial be extended to a second group of clinical trial patients as planned.
Cymerus™ utilises induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to produce a particular type of MSC precursor, called a mesenchymoangioblast (MCA). As a result of its unique ability, the Cymerus™ platform therefore provides an “off-the-shelf” stem cell platform for therapeutic product use, with a pharmaceutical product business model and economies of scale. According to Cynata, this has the potential to create a new standard in the emergent arena of stem cell therapeutics and provides both a unique differentiator and an important competitive position.
Cellularity is currently developing ways to harness cells from the postpartum placenta to address serious and life-threatening diseases; and utilising strategic assets contributed from Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq: CELG), Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE), United Therapeutics (Nasdaq: UTHR) and Human Longevity, Inc.
Possibly the root focus for both biotech companies, is assessing how Cynata’s technology can enhance Celularity’s ability to produce stem cells in larger quantities.
“The value in the Cymerus platform is its unique ability to produce therapeutic grade mesenchymal stem cells at scale. Our stem cell therapies would immensely benefit from mass production and it is for this reason we have chosen to enter into a MoU with Cynata. A cooperation between our two companies has the potential to lead to any number of new commercial opportunities and I look forward to working alongside Cynata to explore the opportunities available to us,” said Dr. Robert Hariri, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Celularity, Inc.
Currently, stem-cell therapies encounter inherent scalability challenges although biotechnology-inspired solutions are being developed by a few biotech companies such as Cynata. Cynata’s proprietary Cymerus™ platform will be evaluated in conjunction with Celularity’s cell therapy assets, which may lead to the development of new products in the regenerative medicine field.