Platelet BioGenesis (PBG) reports that it is working with the Canadian Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and GE Healthcare Life Sciences to develop customized media formulations that will enable efficient differentiation of stem cells to platelet-based treatments, thereby avoiding the reliance on blood donors in the future. PBG officials say they want to extend the therapeutic power of platelets by advancing and commercializing the science of making functional human platelets (PLTs+) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). PBG’s PLTs+ are produced in its patented bioreactor, which provides conditions similar to those found inside a blood vessel through a combination of shear stress and cell culture media environment, according to Brad Dykstra, PhD, a PBG scientist who is co-leading the work.

CCRM, which is focused on developing and commercializing regenerative medicine-based technologies and cell and gene therapies, and GE Healthcare Life Sciences have developed customized high-throughput screening assays for proprietary media formulations to make PBG’s process of differentiating stem cells into platelet-based therapeutics more defined and scalable notes Phil Vanek, general manager, cell therapy growth strategy at GE Healthcare Life Sciences.

“It’s exciting to see our work with GE Healthcare Life Sciences having a tangible impact for a therapy developer and knowing that it will later benefit patients,” adds Michael May, president and CEO of CCRM. “Collaboratively we’ve created custom, defined, animal component-free media for Platelet BioGenesis’ process and we can use this model in the future to assist other developers. Fit-for-purpose, defined media can lower costs and risk, and maintain productivity. Through our collaborations, we are able to help companies get their life-saving products into the hands of people who need them.”

“The platform and approach we have developed here is exceptional in the world of media development,” explains Gary Pigeau, GEHC director of the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies at CCRM. “With our advanced automation and top-down, discovery approach, we are able to test and iterate the solution space in a way that is not possible through traditional means.”

CCRM and GE Healthcare Life Sciences have developed a cell culture media development platform incorporating liquid and cell handling, integrated tissue culture and analytics, coupled with offline proteomics, metabolomics, and flow cytometry-based analytics. This platform is capable of creating and screening thousands of formulation permutations that are linked to advanced statistical experimental design methodologies to define the solution space, allowing for iterative optimization of the composition of cell culture and differentiation media, says Vanek.

“Not only does this project validate the approach that GEHC and CCRM have undertaken to address the rapidly changing needs of the cell and gene therapy industry, it also serves as a case study on how transformative therapies can be enabled through these types of multi-stakeholder collaborations,” he continues. “We’re delighted to be teamed up with CCRM and Platelet BioGenesis in the advancement of this new cell technology.”

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