Plasticell secures funding for red blood cell substitute development

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

Plasticell is collaborating with the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London. (Image: iStock/Sashkinw)
Plasticell is collaborating with the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London. (Image: iStock/Sashkinw)
Plasticell is advancing multiple projects through which it will develop and manufacture red blood cell substitutes for human clinical transfusion and progress preclinical trials.

The cell therapy developer has secured Biomedical Catalyst funding of more than £920,000 ($1.2m) from Innovate UK.

Dr. Yen Choo, Executive Chairman of Plasticell, told us the funding will enable the discovery and development of manufacturing process for red blood cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

Plasticell will work with the University of Edinburgh (UoE) in combining of two innovative technologies: Plasticell’s CombiCult technology and lineage specific reporter cell lines that were developed by Professor Forrester's group at UoE​,” Choo said.

The use of fluorescent reporter cell lines facilitates Plasticell’s screening capability because the desired phenotype can be detected in real time in live cells during the screening process​,” he added.

The project is set to last two years, from April 2017 to March 2019, and is part of the company’s hematopoietic cell therapy portfolio.

The portfolio includes the expansion of umbilical cord- and bone- derived hematopoietic stem cells, as well as blood platelet and immune cell manufacturing for oncology applications.

As part of this work, Plasticell has also announced a partnership with Kings College London to progress preclinical trials of its artificial blood platelet product manufactured from iPSCs.

Kings College will contribute its expertise in in vivo​ models to characterize the dynamics, lifespan, safety, and efficacy of transfused platelets, according to the company.

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