Biotechnology firm AgeX Therapeutics has announced a research collaboration with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) on research programme for exosome-based treatments for some brain disorders.
The research collaboration will explore the treatment potential of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles generated by neural stem cells drawn from AgeX pluripotent stem cells.
The aim of this collaboration is to develop treatments to address adverse neurocognitive impacts of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy on brain function.
UCI Beall Applied Innovation has handled the agreement between AgeX and UCI.
The research will be carried out at UCI under the direction of Munjal Acharya, associate professor at the UCI Stem Cell Research Center.
The nano-sized extracellular vesicles, exosomes are secreted by cells that feature a cargo of lipids, proteins and/or nucleic acids, and participate in communication between cells.
Dr. Acharya will look for exosomes and other extracellular vesicles in samples of cell culture-conditioned media used at the university to draw neural stem cells from AgeX pluripotent stem cells in a programme.
This programme is sponsored by AgeX seeking treatments for Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders.
Making use of mouse models for brain cancer treatment, Dr. Acharya will analyse the safety and efficacy of exosomes or other extracellular vesicles in repairing cognitive impairments and neuroinflammation in the brain caused due to radiation and chemotherapy.
Dr Acharya said: “We are excited to collaborate with AgeX to test the efficacy of exosomes derived from a GMP-compliant neural stem cell line that would increase the translational feasibility of our approach to thwart this unmet medical need faced by millions of cancer survivors world-wide.”
Besides providing an opportunity for AgeX to license inventions that may come up from the research programme, the collaboration will pursue clinical development and commercialisation of treatments drawn using those licensed inventions.
AgeX chief operating officer Dr Nafees Malik said: “We are delighted to support Dr. Acharya’s efforts to seek new therapies for cancer therapy-induced brain injury. Dr. Acharya’s work compliments efforts at UCI in the laboratory of Professor Leslie Thompson that AgeX is sponsoring to develop methods to derive neural stem cells from AgeX’s pluripotent stem cells and its PureStem technology platform for neurological disorders.
“Moreover, we are excited to be expanding our participation in the field of neurology, which has huge clinical and commercial potential.”