The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and GenCure, a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, signed a master services agreement to collaborate on the development of cellular therapy products, services, and testing.

The expanded agreement between GenCure and the UTSA Stem Cell Core Lab provides UTSA with research starting materials and GenCure receives capability development and testing services. GenCure will provide starting materials for UTSA researchers to facilitate the isolation and subsequent reprogramming of adult stem cells to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

In addition, UTSA will provide testing services for materials manufactured by GenCure’s process development and cGMP facilities. The collaboration facilitates training development, consulting services, and access to equipment and related-research services unique to each site.

The mission of the Stem Cell Core is to enhance the research portfolio at UTSA by providing high-quality iPSCs and their genetically modified or differentiated progeny to researchers in Texas and nationwide. The UTSA Stem Cell Core also works to reduce the barriers to investigators who want to enter this specialized research field, according to Christopher Navara, PhD, director, UTSA Stem Cell Core. Navara has previously worked with Rogelio Zamilpa, PhD, senior director of manufacturing science and technology at GenCure.

“This long-term collaboration with Zamilpa is a productive blending of our expertise to accelerate stem cell therapeutics to the clinic,” Navara said.

Utilization of iPSCs enables consistent manufacturing of allogeneic cell therapies for a wide range of conditions. GenCure has been working on iPSC development for almost two years at its facility in the VelocityTX biotech incubator complex on San Antonio’s East Side. Navara has more than 20 years of experience using pluripotent stem cells and his group has generated more than 175 human and non-human primate iPSC lines.

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