Orgenesis Inc (NASDAQ:ORGS), a developer of advanced cell therapies, said Tuesday that it had forged a collaboration with MangoGen Pharma Inc, initially focused on the pre-clinical development of insulin producing cells (IPCs), using MangoGen’s advanced gene delivery platform.
Under the initial terms of the collaboration, the companies will work together to develop a “complete solution” for the delivery of insulin-producing cells.
The company has been awarded a grant from the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) to fund the project.
The technology potentially allows the Germantown, Maryland-based company to reduce the cost and complexity of manufacturing its cell therapy programs.
“We look forward to working with MangoGen, which has developed an innovative virus vector for the delivery of DNA utilizing baculoviruses. We believe that the MangoGen baculoviral delivery and encapsulation system has the potential to increase the potency and performance of our transdifferentiation technology, as well as other cell therapies we are developing and those of our customers,” Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, said in a statement.
Orgenesis’ subsidiary MaSTherCell is a global contract development and manufacturing organization, or CDMO.
“Baculoviral systems have a number of advantages over other vectors due to the fact that they do not integrate into the hosts DNA and are therefore unlikely to cause problems with mutation or immunogenicity. By using MangoGen’s baculovirus, it could potentially enhance manufacturing processes and reduce the cost of goods for Orgenesis’ IPCs and other cell therapies,” said Caplan.
Orgenesis is also a pioneer in transdifferentiation, which simply means cell reprograming.
The process involves direct reprogramming of an adult tissue or cell into another type of specialized cell, with its distinct phenotype and function. Transdifferentiation potentially provides the use of a patient's own adult tissues to restore any damaged organs or tissue. This ability to convert one cell type to another holds great promise in the stem cell field.
Professor Sarah Ferber, founder and chief scientific officer at Orgenesis, is the inventor of the company’s groundbreaking transdifferentiation (TD) platform technology, which has potential applications across multiple health conditions.
Orgenesis CEO Caplan said the grant from CIIRDF was a “validation of the technology” and could “accelerate research.”
“We are delighted to partner with Orgenesis on this exciting project to further enhance the efficacy and manufacturability of Orgenesis’ transdifferentiation technology through our baculoviral gene-delivery and encapsulation technology,” said MangoGen Pharma CEO Paul Plested.
“We see broad potential for this platform technology within the cell therapy and regenerative medicine markets. Orgenesis is an ideal partner given their broad expertise and capabilities as both a developer of advanced cell therapies and leading contract development and manufacturing organization,” added Plested.
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