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LGC announces partnership with Sistemic under Innovate UK ‘Analysis for Innovators’ programme

19 Jun 2017
LGC announces today its partnership with Sistemic Ltd under the new Innovate UK funding programme ‘Analysis for Innovators’ (A4I) in our role as the National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute for chemical and bio-measurement. The A4I programme provides companies access to state-of-the-art measurement and analytical technologies through partnership with National Measurement Laboratories (LGC, NPL, NEL), the Science & Technology Facilities Council and Innovate UK.

LGC will support Sistemic to further develop, to a market-ready stage, their ground-breaking prototype miRNA-based assay for accurate assessment of pluripotent stem cell contamination in derived cell therapy products.

Cell therapies are seen as the future of treatment in a number of therapeutic areas including diabetes and cardiovascular disease and are expected to revolutionise medical care for a range of currently untreatable diseases. Cell therapies are increasingly using pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to generate derived cell therapy products. However, PSCs, by their nature, have the potential to form tumours which raises concerns around PSC-derived cell product safety. Therefore, there is a need to demonstrate, sensitively, quickly and accurately, the level of contaminating pluripotent stem cells in a derived cell therapy product. Sistemic has developed a prototype product based around miRNA biomarkers to detect contaminating pluripotent stem cells in a derived cell therapy product in a simple, highly sensitive and rapid test format. This partnership will support Sistemic in order to further develop their prototype product and make it ready for the rapidly developing market in PSC-derived cell therapy products.

Sistemic will be supported by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, under the ‘Analysis for Innovators’ grant.
Jim Reid, Chairman & CEO, Sistemic, said, “This is great news for Sistemic and supports the innovative position of our technologies and the unique value they can offer in the stem cell and gene therapy fields. Cell therapy products will be transformational in the treatment of many diseases but without adequate manufacturability and quality control these exciting products will fail to deliver on their promise. This development offers a major step forward in the journey of these exciting products to industrialisation, commercialisation and subsequent successful and safe medical use.”
David Mallinson, Vice President of Scientific Operations, Sistemic, continued, “We are delighted to be working with LGC, and utilising their expertise as the National Measurement Laboratory for chemical and bio-measurement. The successful outcome of this project has the potential to facilitate the clinical progress of pluripotent stem cell-derived cell therapy products, allowing them to be developed to safer clinical products more quickly.”
Carole Foy, Principal Scientist, LGC, agreed, “We are very pleased to be able to provide measurement support to Sistemic through this project. Advances in the stem cell and gene therapy fields are offering unprecedented opportunities for improving human health. However, safe and efficient use of such therapies is heavily regulated and reliant on the development of robust measurements to assess product purity within allowable limits. The methods under development by Sistemic will be a major step forward in the field and LGC is proud to be offering support.”