BioE and University of Newcastle Form Research Partnership
Collaboration to establish optimal protocols for isolating cord blood cells; researchers aim to source a variety of cord blood stem cells for therapeutic applications and drug discoveryMay 30, 2006
ST. PAUL, Minn. and NEWCASTLE, England BioE®, Inc., a biomedical company providing human cord blood stem cells as enabling, high-quality cellular tools for drug discovery and therapeutic research, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England announced today the two parties have formed a research partnership to advance the near-term therapeutic application of cells derived from human umbilical cord blood, including stem cells.
Specifically, BioE and the University of Newcastle will collaborate using BioE’s PrepaCyte® cell isolation platform to establish optimal protocols for isolating rare stem cells with significant therapeutic potential from cord blood. This work could lead to the development of an extensive library of quality cord blood stem cells accessible for therapeutic research and drug discovery purposes by academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology organizations around the world.
“Our research indicates cord blood has an amazing capacity to develop into a wide range of human tissues including blood, blood vessel, liver and nervous tissues,” said Dr. Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at the University of Newcastle’s United Kingdom (UK) Centre for Cord Blood. “This capability could have a huge impact not only on treating human disease, but also on providing human tissues for drug development and testing, potentially removing the uncertainty of whether new drugs will have side effects. Our partnership with BioE moves forward a platform technology specifically designed to help develop cord blood for the benefit of regenerative medicine.”
“This joint work with BioE is the first successful international stem cell commercial collaboration executed at the University of Newcastle and within the United Kingdom that advances the development of cord blood stem cells from the bench to clinical applications,” commented Dr. Nicolas Forraz, clinical sciences business manager at the University of Newcastle and senior research associate in Professor McGuckin’s group. “This is a noteworthy development as Newcastle is a UK government-appointed ‘Science City' that is developing new technologies by promoting active relationships between the public sector and the biotechnology industry — directly benefiting the region, the UK and the entire world.”
Using PrepaCyte formulations that will be developed by BioE and the University of Newcastle as part of this partnership, researchers hope to isolate a variety of stem cell populations, including the University of Newcastle’s Cord Blood Embryonic-like stem cells (CBEs) — which have already shown the capacity to differentiate into multiple cell types, such as liver.
“We are extremely excited to partner with some of the world’s leading stem cell researchers at the University of Newcastle to advance the utility of our PrepaCyte platform and realize the benefits it will bring to therapeutic stem cell research,” said Michael Haider, president and chief executive officer for BioE. “The University of Newcastle is an extremely valuable partner for us given the wealth of technical and clinical resources it can offer BioE as we continue to identify and solidify business opportunities internationally.”