The biotech company worked with Industry Sponsored Research and Research Translation Group to use the technology to progress cellular therapies to treat Huntington’s disease.
UC Irvine recently entered into a sponsored research agreement and an option agreement with AgeX Therapeutics, a biotech company that develops therapeutics for aging and regeneration.
Under the sponsored research agreement, Leslie Thompson, Ph.D., UCI Chancellor’s Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, will use AgeX’s PureStem® technology to develop neural stem cells with the goal of developing cellular therapies to treat neurodegenerative disorders and diseases, such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s.
“The goal of the technology is to improve and create a higher scale manufacturing process to enable clinical trials of human neural stem cells as a potential treatment for Huntington’s,” said Thompson. “Injection of neural stem cells into the brain has shown significant benefit in Huntington’s disease mouse models.”
UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Industry Sponsored Research (ISR) team handles agreements involving research funded by or through for-profit industry sponsors. Chris Abernethy, ISR industry contract officer, worked with Thompson to develop the proposal for the research project developed by AgeX.
After the company had expressed interest in working with Thompson to develop cell therapies for neurological disorders and diseases, Applied Innovation’s Research Translation Group (RTG) team was looped in to help facilitate. RTG helps university faculty, physicians and researchers understand and navigate the translation of their discoveries.
“The ISR and RTG teams are so incredibly helpful,” said Thompson. “They explained the UC-wide regulations and addressed the faculty and research needs while also coming up with creative ways to address the company’s needs, as well. They have a broad perspective from a UC standpoint and this sponsored research agreement wouldn’t have moved forward without their help.”
Casie Kelly, RTG assistant director of licensing, also facilitated the contracts needed for the collaboration, including the sponsored research agreement and an option agreement with the company.
“The company was really motivated to get this done and that’s always nice when you know the other side is equally as interested in getting to a deal,” said Kelly. “It takes two motivated parties to move that quickly.”
Find out more information about licensing opportunities at Applied Innovation.
*Main graphic: Vivian To, UCI Beall Applied Innovation