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GEN News Highlights : May 17, 2010

genOway to Assess Griffith University’s Olfactory Adult Stem Cell Technology in Generating Rodent Models

Agreement includes a worldwide, exclusive license to transgenic rats and mice.

genOway has entered an agreement with the Griffith University of Brisbane, Australia, related to using autologous olfactory adult stem cells to create transgenic rodent models. The eight-month research partnership with the university’s Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies is coupled with a worldwide, exclusive license to genOway for the rodent transgenic business.

“The major benefit is olfactory stem cells exist in all species, paving the way for more predictable models,” remarks Alexandre Fraichard, CEO of genOway. “The first therapeutic areas to benefit from this innovation would be neurosciences and oncology but also pharmacotoxicology studies. If the research program goes well, we anticipate first revenues as of 2011.”

The institute reports that it has successfully characterized adult stem cells of the olfactory bulb on humans, mice, and rats. Germline transmission has been demonstrated in mice, thus validating their use for the creation of mice models, the institute adds.

The eight-month research program aims at establishing germline transmission in rats using existing rat olfactory adult stem cells. The hope is to leverage this technology for rat models and certain mice strains that were tough to develop using embryonic stem cells.

According to the terms of the agreement, each firm will bear the cost of its R&D efforts. genOway has an exclusive license to the technologies for the creation and distribution of genetically modified mouse and rat models. The company develops and supplies genetically modified and value-added research models to the biopharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical, and food industry as well as for academic research. It operates in over 22 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, reportedly supplying more than 285 research institutes and biopharmaceutical companies.