IP transfer deal to make cell therapies affordable

LabSouth Australia’s Cell Therapy Manufacturing CRC has a new bioreactor and has established a significant intellectual property deal with industry partner Terumo BCT. As featured in AdelaideNow the Mawson Lakes-based Cooperative Research Centre last week installed a new bioreactor supplied by Terumo, which will allow it to grow cells on a larger scale and test processes it is working on to accelerate cell growth.

The CRC’s mission is to make cell therapies — treating diseases with human cells — affordable by increasing the scale at which therapeutic cells can be made.

CRC general manager Dr Justin Coombs said as well as taking delivery of the bioreactor, the organisation had agreed to an IP transfer deal with Terumo which had the potential to generate revenue to bolster its research efforts.

“Terumo is our first industry participant that we’ve done an IP transfer deal with, which was part of setting up the project,’’ Dr Coombs said.

Dr Coombs said everything which comes out of the particular collaboration with Terumo will be owned by the company, but in return the CRC would get part of any commercial return earned.

“That will get distributed among our research participants in the CRC and part of it will be reinvested by the CRC company into further research,’’ he said.

Terumo senior vice president Chockalingam Palaniappan said in lay terms the bioreactor technology involved making the surface of a hollow fibre conducive to faster and easier cell growth.

“What we’re about is making cell therapies affordable,’’ he said.

“We’ve made one leapfrog. I think this partnership could help us leapfrog even further.’’

Mr Palaniappan said the bioreactor provided a process to tether cells to a surface, then grow them exponentially, in a machine of a manageable size. Previously such processes would have necessitated an entire cell-culture laboratory.

Health Industries Minister Jack Snelling said the CRC’s success was another step towards creating a cell manufacturing hub for the Asia-Pacific, here in Adelaide.

“The CTMCRC develops novel cell therapies with the aim of treating previously incurable or intractable conditions such as type 1 diabetes, diabetic wounds, and immune-mediated diseases,” Mr Snelling said.

“Given the very high costs, the CTMCRC aims to make such treatments more affordable and accessible.

“This latest achievement adds to the state’s reputation for health and biomedical research and innovation and complements one of the largest health precincts in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Australian Health and Biomedical precinct.’’


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