Animal models specialist genOway negotiated an exclusive worldwide license to StemCells’ Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) for use in the development and commercialization of genetically engineered mice. The IRES platform enables the genetic engineering of embryonic stem cells in combination with a selectable marker, to allow monitoring of endogenous gene expression. StemCells claims the platform is particularly useful for evaluating gene knock-ins or knock-outs in stem cells, and for the creation of transgenic rodent models.
“This technology is already frequently used for transgenic research, and this license represents a clear competitive advantage as it strengthens our proprietary technology portfolio and increases the uniqueness of our commercial offerings,” comments Alexandre Fraichard, genOway CEO. “genOway is well positioned to bring this unique technology to any scientist worldwide, in academia or industry, and we will guarantee our customers the freedom to operate for their R&D activities.”
genOway offers ready-to-use mouse models, and services for generating custom-designed rodent models. Earlier this month the firm inked a strategic alliance with Institut Clinique de la Souris spin-out, PhenoPro, through which genOway will exclusively distribute its partner’s mouse model phenotyping services.
StemCells is exploiting its stem cell biology expertise for the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics and enabling tools and technologies. Lead therapeutic candidate, HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural stem cells), is currently in development as a potential treatment for a range of central nervous system disorders. Phase I/II clinical trials evaluating HuCNS-SC in spinal cord injury, and the fatal childhood demyelinating disorder for Pelizaeus-Merzbacker disease (PMD), are in progress, and preclinical evaluation is ongoing to evaluate the HuCNS-SC platform as a potential treatment for retinal disorders including age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer disease, and stroke. StemCells’ liver program is focused on development of its hLEC human liver engrafting cells as a potential treatment for a variety of liver diseases, and primarily liver-based metabolic disorders.