DefiniGEN Ltd, a worldwide producer of products and services related to stem cell technology, recently announced that its IP portfolio is now much stronger thanks to the addition of a license for a cutting edge lung stem cell technology developed at the University of Cambridge. The technology will be utilized by DefiniGEN to advance and create new and optimized cell services and products that could lead to novel drug discovery and better assessing lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
The technology is being licensed by Cambridge Enterprise to DefiniGEN. The University of Cambridge’s commercialization arm utilizes induced pluripotent stem cells, also called iPS cells, to recreate embryonic lung advancement in the laboratory. To do so, researchers activate a process called gastrulation through which the stem cells generate distinct layers that allow the lungs to grow and regenerate.
As a result of this new development, iPS cells can advance further into distal airway tissue, which is the area of the lung that is in charge of gas exchange and is frequently related to diseases like cystic fibrosis, emphysema and particular types of lung cancer.
Commenting on the announcement, Marcus Yeo, DefiniGEN’s CEO noted: “This license 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.”
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