Clinical-stage stem cell business,, announced on Wednesday that it had entered a grant-funded collaboration with the University of Cardiff.
The collaboration will utilise AIM-listed ReNeuron’s exosome-based drug delivery technology platform.
The grant was awarded under Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a government-funded scheme which encourages partnerships between businesses and universities in the UK to spark innovation and growth.
As part of the scheme, Innovate UK will fund a £250,000 collaborative programme of research to be undertaken by ReNeuron and the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University.
The research programme will use ReNeuron's CTX stem cell-derived exosomes to develop novel systems to enable the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids.
Exosomes are considered an integral tool for drug delivery to the scientist because the way in which cell-to-cell communication takes place occurs via exosomes.
Thus, under certain conditions, exosomes produced by stem cells can be manipulated to carry different cargos so that therapeutic molecules can be loaded for delivery to specific tissues within the body.
ReNeuron intends to utilise its technology platform to target the exosomes travelling to the brain. Dr Randolph Corteling, Head of Research at ReNeuron, commented:
“We are very excited about the potential of our exosome technology platform to deliver therapeutic compounds to the brain and thereby to make a real step-change in the development of treatments against hard-to-target disorders of the central nervous system."
A common concern for scientists is getting those therapeutic agents across the blood barrier, the company explained -- and whilst this has remained a widespread significant challenge, data generated at ReNeuron has already demonstrated the ability of its CTX exosomes to cross the blood barrier.
Thus, the collaboration between the group and university will build on this challenge, focusing on opening up a new route for the delivery of therapeutic agents that have previously failed to target the brain.
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