A new biomaterial developed at the University of Edinburgh, which has the potential to revolutionise equipment used for stem cell research, scale up and manufacture, has been licensed to Ilika Technologies.
Innovative new tools and equipment are essential to realise the evident potential of stem cell science in the laboratory and also in the clinic.
Removal of cells following culturing is a key processing currently requiring physical or enzymatic manipulation which can lead to cell damage.
Researchers from the laboratories of Professor Mark Bradley and Dr Paul De Sousa at the University identified the new material that provides a non-invasive method for the isolation of cells.
The Edinburgh material is a heat-sensitive polymer that releases the cells from its surface using only temperature control. Using the material as an exterior coating will enable the development of cost effective new products for the preparation of high quality stem cells for research and also clinical grade cells for therapeutic applications.
This exclusive licence with Ilika, a subsidiary of Ilika plc, to develop products utilising the Edinburgh technology, has been successfully negotiated by Edinburgh Research and Innovation, the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh.
The agreement will see Ilika develop and introduce a range of new heat sensitive stem cell equipment worldwide, including well plates, culture flasks and bioreactors.
Ian Murphy, Head of Licensing at Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), commented on the deal:
“Ilika is a company with a track-record of successfully developing and commercialising innovative new materials. Their experience and technical know-how will, therefore, be a major driver in productising this technology. In addition, they have an excellent understanding of the sector and established partners worldwide enabling access to a global market.”