Posted on Oct 30, 2019, 3 p.m.
Anti-aging focused life sciences companies Juvenescence and AgeX have published an encouraging progress report in Regenerative Medicine regarding the development of hypoimmunogenic/universal allogeneic cells.
Autologous cell therapy uses a patient’s own cells, while allogeneic cell therapy uses donor cells. Using an allogeneic approach is superior in quality, scalability, manufacturing cost, commercialisation, and much more. However, this approach faces the big challenge of rejection due to the patient’s immune system responses to the donor cells. Engineering allogeneic cells that are hypoimmunogenic would be a game changer as these cells could evade the host immune system and transform regenerative medicine.
The report explores various strategies associated with generation of universal allogeneic cells, and includes experimental data relating to AgeX’s proprietary immune tolerance technology called UniverCtye which aims to utilize a novel modified form of immunomodulatory molecule HLA-G to generate universal allogeneic cells to enable development of off the shelf therapeutics that will not require immunosuppressants. Findings support the premise of UniverCyte expressing tissue as being potentially hypoimmunogenic, having evaded recognition of a functional human immune system, and continued growth.
“Hypoimmunogenic allogeneic cells are the Holy Grail in regenerative medicine, and a number of accomplished researchers have made great strides toward engineering them over the last few years,” said lead author Dr Malik, Chief Operating Officer at AgeX and Head of Cell & Gene Therapy at Juvenescence. “This is a huge area of focus for us at AgeX, via our UniverCyte technology platform. In support of our own research and as a service to the overall field, we decided to put together this paper, analyzing all the leading strategies to engineer universal cells and encapsulating them in one paper.”
“AgeX’s UniverCyte technology platform will not only be important to the company in developing in-house therapies, it may also be transformative for the wider cell therapy industry via collaborations and licensing deals. It is quite conceivable that in the near future, allogeneic cell therapies may potentially need to be universal to be clinically and commercially competitive,” said co-author Jim Mellon, Chairman of Juvenescence.
“Universal cells would help us and others to fulfill the original vision of cell therapy. Thus, I am pleased that my colleagues at AgeX and Juvenescence have put together this paper, as it should be of considerable benefit to researchers, possibly enabling them to accelerate their progress.” said co-author Gregory Bailey, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AgeX and CEO of Juvenescence.
Dr. Bailey adds, “AgeX’s UniverCyte technology uses a novel, modified form of the tolerogenic molecule HLA-G, which in nature plays a key role in preventing a mother from rejecting her semi-allogeneic baby.”
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