Salt Lake City and Yokohama, Japan—Q Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of clinical-stage cell therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disease and injury, announced a collaborative research agreement with REPROCELL Inc. that combines each company’s proprietary technologies to develop new iPS cell (IPSC) therapies for central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
Q Therapeutics has patented a process to manufacture glial-restricted progenitor (GRP) cells from any tissue source. GRPs have been proven safe and effective in several pre-clinical CNS disease models. Q Therapeutics has obtained Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance from the FDA in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis (both orphan indications) for its adult cell product, Q-CELLS™.
REPROCELL has developed a proprietary process to manufacture integration-free, virus-free and clinically relevant human iPSC lines using proprietary RNA reprogramming technology. This process is suitable for manufacturing robust, consistent and high quality functional cells at commercial scale.
Combining these technologies will enable rapid generation of therapeutic-grade, iPSC-derived GRPs to generate safety and efficacy data in preclinical disease models. Q Therapeutics’ expertise in obtaining regulatory approval in the United States and REPROCELL’s ongoing clinical partnerships in Japan enable them to work toward approval of IPSC-derived products on a global scale.
“I am pleased to announce this collaboration with REPROCELL to explore development of therapeutic products from multiple tissue sources. This has the potential to advance our position as a global player in cellular therapeutics and advance our patented products and manufacturing processes toward multiple clinical trials,” said Steven Borst, CEO of Q Therapeutics.
“This collaboration with Q Therapeutics and their scientific co-founder, Dr. Mahendra Rao, enables us to accelerate our therapeutic regenerative medicine business using iPS cells. I am also honored to step into contributing to unmet medical needs like ALS and TM using our proprietary iPS cell technology,” said Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama, CEO for REPROCELL.
“The PMDA and the Japanese government have provided a clear path for accelerated development of regenerative medicine therapies. This iPSC collaboration holds the promise of quickly developing therapeutic products that are engineered to address disease-specific needs,” said Dr. Mahendra Rao, Chief Strategy Officer and Scientific Co-Founder of Q Therapeutics and Former Director of the NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine.