Cell Applications, Inc. and StemoniX announced a partnership, allowing them to produce up to one billion human induced pluripotent stem cells (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable researchers to minimize their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. This achievement was made possible through an appropriate, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC for life science discovery.
“The manual process of expanding stem cells is labor intensive and time consuming. By mastering high-volume biomanufacturing, we seek to revolutionize cell-based research and drug screening, leading to a new era of drug discovery and personalized, precision medicine,” said Ping Yeh, StemoniX chief executive officer and co-founder. “Working with Cell Applications, we bring researchers access to high-volume, cost-effective HiPSC to help accelerate the understanding of various diseases and to identify potential compounds to treat them.” Cell Applications became home to a 3D Bio Printer earlier this year.
Lab workers at universities, life science institutes and pharmaceutical companies use HiPSC for basic cell biology research and genetic disease modeling, as well as for drug screening, development, efficacy and toxicity assessment. HiPSC typically are generated from adult human tissues—usually skin cells—that can be reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state thus avoiding the ethical considerations associated with human embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are considered to be the most pluripotent – able to take the most different cell forms. However, these stem cells are taken from an embryo, which is considered as a living person by many, making this a very controversial issue as the embryo dies when these cells are taken. However, reprogramming stem cells from being ones that can transform into a smaller range of cells to having similar abilities to that of embryonic stem cells, bypasses the moral issue.
Being donor/patient-specific, HiPSC opens tremendous possibilities for a wide variety of personalized studies in biomedical research. High-volume biomanufacturing also has the potential to change the way this are of science is researched by enabling investigators to save critical time and research dollars. These benefits will be realized by using HiPSC early in the discovery process to assess safety issues of drug compounds in-vitro, rather than relying on costly, later-stage methods.
“Cell Applications is pleased that our strategic partnership with StemoniX will facilitate large-scale HiPSC production and enable more research labs, regardless of size, to afford the large cell amounts and consistent quality necessary to advance scientific research,” said James Yu, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer, Cell Applications.
About Cell Applications, Inc.
Cell Applications, Inc. is a private company that specializes in primary cells, optimized culture media, reagents and custom-engineered cell and tissue solutions. Within its vast cell bank, the company holds more than 100 types of primary cells isolated from numerous tissues and species. This diversity provides laboratory staff access to nearly 900 cell ordering configurations, for basic life science studies in universities and non-profit research institutes, as well as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer health and cosmetic companies. Human Dermal Fibroblasts from Cell Applications were instrumental in the groundbreaking discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSC. The Human iPSC and associated culturing reagents, along with CAI’s extensive primary cell product line, are available via direct contact or through the company’s global distribution network. The Cell Applications Center for Primary Cell Technology and Innovation fosters cell-based discovery, and their San Diego, Calif. headquarters became home to the first Regenova® 3D Bio Printer in North America in early 2016.
StemoniX is leading the development and manufacturing of human induced pluripotent stem cells for academic and industrial pharmaceutical research and discovery applications, such as biologically accurate, miniaturized organ-like microtissues. Its biotechnology provides scientists the ultimate “in vitro” testing environment with standardized, easy-to-use, cost-effective access to relevant human microtissue for drug screening, toxicity and efficacy testing. In less than a year of operation, StemoniX developed the ability to scale stem cell technologies, brought them to a global sales and distribution agreement and generated a strong intellectual property portfolio. The company’s products were recently qualified by one of the world’s largest biopharma companies. Incorporated in Minnesota, the company is co-located in Minneapolis, Minn. and San Diego, Calif. StemoniX is revolutionizing drug discovery and making personalized medicine commercially relevant along the way.