Cellect, denovoMATRIX start stem cell research project

handshake / shaking hands
The collaboration will advance in parallel to Cellect’s attempts to establish its current technology as an enabler of stem cell therapies. (daizuoxin/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Cellect Biotechnology and a group at Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) have teamed up to explore the combination of their stem cell technologies. If Cellect deems the experiments a success, it will seek to form a stem cell product development agreement.

Israel’s Cellect is building its business around ApoGraft, an apoptosis-driven approach to separating stem cells from mature cells. By harvesting pure populations of stem cells, Cellect thinks it can help to create cell therapies that escape the attention of the host’s immune system, thereby enabling safe, effective allogeneic and haploidentical treatments.

ApoGraft is one part of the alliance. The other is TU Dresden’s denovoMATRIX. The denovoMATRIX group at TU Dresden is working on a biomimetic coating for use in cell culture and a cell culture plate for testing extracellular matrix factors.

Cellect and denovoMATRIX think combining their respective technologies could improve stem cell section and expansion. To test that idea, a denovoMATRIX scientist will run a series of experiments out of Cellect’s R&D facility in Israel. The perceived success of these experiments will dictate whether the project moves forward.

Responsibility for ruling whether the experiments succeeded will fall solely on Cellect. That gives the Israeli firm the power to decide whether to enter into negotiations around a mutual development agreement with denovoMATRIX or call time on the collaboration once the experiments are done.

The collaboration will advance in parallel to Cellect’s attempts to establish its current technology as an enabler of stem cell therapies. Rather than compete with the developers of these therapies, Cellect wants to use its technology to support their efforts. A phase 1/2 trial evaluating the ability of ApoGraft to prevent acute graft-versus-host disease is underway.

Shares in tiny Cellect climbed 5% in premarket trading following the release of the news.