The £615,000 ($810,000) from the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) – a partnership between the UK’s Medical Research Council and Innovate UK – will fund the first two years of development of a proprietary personalised cell therapy targeting diabetes sufferers requiring spinal fusion using Locate’ IntraStem technology.
“Human adult stem cells have low proliferative capacity and finite life span, which is donor dependent,” a spokesperson from the Nottingham, UK-based firm told this publication.
“Lack of expandability/ senescence significantly inhibits autologous clinical adoption, and this issue is amplified in certain patient groups e.g. diabetics and the elderly. Locate will use IntraStem to deliver immortalization RNAs into these cells in order to amplify their numbers, overcome proliferative shortfalls and expedite production of therapeutically-relevant numbers.”
The personalised therapy is then administered into patients using the firm’s injectable polymer matrix platform, TAOS, in order to enhance clinical outcomes.
According to Locate, IntraStem is a modification of Cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) technology, “powerful non-genetic tools that allow intracellular delivery of conjugated cargoes to modify cell behaviour.
“Their use in biomedicine has been hampered by inefficient delivery to nuclear and cytoplasmic targets. IntraStem overcomes this deficiency by employing a novel fusion protein that couples a membrane docking peptide to heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) with a CPP.”