DefiniGEN licenses lung stem cell technology from University of Cambridge

DefiniGEN Ltd, a leading provider of stem cell life science products and services, today announced that it has strengthened its IP portfolio with a licence for cutting edge lung stem cell technology from the University of Cambridge. The technology will be used by DefiniGEN to develop new, optimised cell products and services for drug discovery and the study of lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis.

The technology, licensed to DefiniGEN by Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge, uses induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to recreate embryonic lung development in the lab by activating a process known as gastrulation, in which the cells form distinct layers, from which the lung ‘grows’. Uniquely, the technology enables these cells to develop further, into distal airway tissue. The distal airway is the part of the lung responsible for gas exchange and is often implicated in disease, such as cystic fibrosis, some forms of lung cancer and emphysema.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Marcus Yeo, CEO of DefiniGEN (pictured), said: “This licence enables us to use stem cells to grow highly functional lung cells on an industrial-scale for the first time. These cell products can then help researchers to elucidate key mechanisms of disease and enable pharmaceutical companies to screen for potential drugs in a reproducible and cost-effective way.”

DefiniGEN is focused on serving the growing need in the pharmaceutical industry for more accurate predictions of efficacy and toxicity in drug candidates ahead of clinical trials. Its platform technology OptiDIFF is a revolutionary stem cell production platform for the generation of high-functionality cell types including, liver, pancreas and lung cells. These cells can be used as predictive in vitro models to support the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients. Since its foundation in April 2012 DefiniGEN has moved rapidly into commercialising its products and services in both the academic research and pharmaceutical sectors on an international basis.

About DefiniGEN Ltd

DefiniGEN was founded in 2012 to commercialise OptiDIFF, the stem cell production platform developed at the University of Cambridge, UK. The Company has world-leading expertise in the area of iPSC-derived human cell production and metabolic disease modelling. The application of these technologies in drug discovery provides pharmaceutical companies with more predictive in vitro cell products enabling the development of safer and more effective treatments. In addition, the technology platform utilises fully defined and humanised conditions required for the development of regenerative medicine cellular therapies. DefiniGEN builds on intellectual property and knowledge resident at the University of Cambridge Regenerative Medicine Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and has in-licensed the Yamanaka induced pluripotent stem cell IP portfolio from iPS Academia Japan Inc.

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