Scottish-Belgian rheumatoid arthritis alliance formed
Glasgow/Leuven - With a little help from the EU, two biotech companies are banding together to develop the first stem cell therapy against rheumatoid arthritis. UK-based Sistemic will work with TiGenix to develop the Belgian's Cx611 stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis through early clinical trials. The project is funded to the tune of €5.9m through the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The REGENER-AR consortium brings together researchers from 10 institutes and companies in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Spain. “We are honoured to be working with TiGenix and Cellerix, its Spanish subsidiary, as well as partners from all over Europe", said Sistemic's Chief Scientific Officer, Vincent O’Brien. The consortium has defined a clinical translational project with the aim of developing a broadly available, clinically applicable treatment for rheumatoid arthritis by exploiting human allogeneic mesenchymnal adult stem cells extracted from adipose tissue (eASCs). Cx611 utilises stem cells extracted from adipose tissue (eASCs), and is undergoing Phase I/II testing in a clinical trial in Spain. Sistemic will use its proprietary SistemQC-miRNA-based stem cell characterization and quality control tool-kit to evaluate the project.