Locate Therapeutics Receives Biomedical Catalyst Primer Award To Develop Personalised Cell Therapies For Compromised Patient Populations

Nottingham UK, October 10, 2017, Locate Therapeutics, a leading UK regenerative medicine company today announced that it has received a Biomedical Catalyst Primer Award for a potentially breakthrough personalised cell therapy development project. Called CellFuse, the project is designed to demonstrate the ability of its combined IntraStem synthetic peptide-based intracellular delivery system and TAOS® * polymer-based matrix to solve the current problem of low transfection efficiency in patients with already highly compromised cell populations. Diabetes sufferers requiring spinal fusion has been chosen, because this group currently suffers poor clinical outcomes and more frequent complications after fusions with autograft or bone graft substitutes. Over 1 million fusions are performed annually in Europe and the US, with the numbers continuing to grow.

The underlying causes of the failed outcomes and complications are firstly the low availability due to ageing of the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) required to generate new vascularised bone tissue and then their compromised function due to poor protection at administration sites. Studies show that up to 95% of cells are being lost using current methods*. Based on modified Cell-Penetrating technology, IntraStem is able to address this by delivering immortalization RNAs into the patient’s cells in order to amplify their numbers, overcome proliferative shortfalls and expedite production of therapeutically-relevant numbers. TAOS® then provides a robust delivery matrix that maintains cell viability and ensures differentiation and localisation.

“ Whilst growing, with over 600 trials underway worldwide, the Cell Therapy market is currently facing a major challenge – how to reduce cell death and increase therapeutic efficacy. IntraStem enables us to re-program cells to achieve beneficial outcomes. This system has been shown to increase intracellular delivery of protein by two-orders of magnitude and is especially effective at delivering these payloads to pluripotent stem cells that have proved resistant to conventional cell penetrating peptide strategies. TAOS® then creates an ideal environment for the cells to differentiate ,” says Dr Robin Quirk, CEO of Locate Therapeutics. “We are therefore delighted to receive this grant which will enable us to further demonstrate the potential of our approach by taking a truly personalised cell therapy into clinic. Going forward we will also be looking to promote IntraStem’s potentially unrivalled efficiency for delivering antibodies, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and nucleic acids (plasmid (p)DNA, mRNA and siRNA) into cells at much higher levels than the current alternatives for reprogramming, as well as improving gene editing, using for example, the CRISPR-cas9 approach.”

Locate plans to take the CellFuse product independently through market approval to commercialisation. There is also the continued option of out-licensing or sale to a commercial development partner at the appropriate point in development. The award of £614, 952 amounts to 70% of the total £878, 503 project costs, with Locate Therapeutics contibuting the remainder.

*Targeted, Orchestrated Signalling


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Notes to editors


Robin Quirk, CEO – tel +44 (0)115 784 0041

Media Contact:

Richard Hayhurst – tel +44 (0)7711 821527 email:richard@richardhayhurstassociates.com

Locate Therapeutics (Locate) is a regenerative medicine product development company which has developed TAOS™ (Targeted Orchestrated Signalling matrix); a patented polymer technology with multiple medical applications.

The TAOS™ matrix system is a world-first in tissue repair. It is a unique regenerative medicine platform that provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair, and can precisely accommodate and promote the actions of locally-applied drugs, and emergent biological and cell-based therapies. TAOS’ injectable particulate formulation is thermally-triggered to solidify into a space-filling open porous depot that supports tissue repair before degrading away.

Locate has additional complementary technologies in cell therapy bioprocessing (RPMax; Reversible Porous Matrix for trypsin-free 3D cell culture) and intracellular delivery (IntraStem high-performance carrier peptide).

The UK Biomedical Catalyst awards fund innovative solutions to healthcare challenges to UK-based SMEs from technical evaluation of ideas through to proof of concept in a model system. Ideas should be for innovative healthcare technologies and processes that will help provide:

Disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions

Earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes

Tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

£8 million has been allocated for the first round and awards will cover up to 70% of eligible project costs for a small or micro business and 60% for a medium-sized business. Projects should last up to 2 years, must start by 1 August 2017 and end by 1 August 2019. We expect total project costs to range in size from £200,000 to £1.5 million.

Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council and Scottish Enterprise fund Biomedical Catalyst awards. More at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/innovate-uk

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