Evotec and Sernova collaborate into beta cell replacement therapy for diabetes

pharmafile | May 17, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

Evotec and Sernova have announced an exclusive strategic partnership for iPSC-based beta cell replacement therapy to advance a ‘functional cure’ for insulin-dependent diaetes, including type 1 and type 2.

The partnership leverages iPSC-based beta cells from Evotec’s QRbeta initiative. Evotec produces human iPSC-based beta cells in islet-like clusters in a quality controlled scalable bioreactor process. Those islet-like clusters are functionally equivalent to primary human islets, in their ability to normalise blood glucose levels in in vivo models over several months.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, CSO of Evotec, commented: “We searched long and hard for the right partner. Sernova clearly ticks all boxes with their clinically validated Cell Pouch technology, which fits perfectly to Evotec’s iPSC-based beta cells. Together we will progress a highly differentiated first-in-class beta cell therapy into clinical development with the common goal to bring a truly transformative therapy to insulin-dependent diabetic patients. The operational synergies of Evotec’s and Sernova’s technologies puts Sernova in position to become the world’s leader in beta cell replacement therapy. Our equity investment underlines our strategic interest in this collaboration with Sernova. We are very much looking forward to collaborate with them on the project as well as to be part of their Supervisory Board.”

Dr Philip Toleikis, President, and CEO of Sernova, commented: “In tandem with our current clinical islet cell programme, Sernova entered into multiple pharmaceutical research collaborations to identify the highest quality and most compatible iPSC cell technology, and validate the cells pre-clinically within our Cell Pouch System. Evotec is an iPSC powerhouse having dedicated many years and substantial resources to developing high quality and stable stem cell technologies for multiple therapeutic applications. In every sense, both as a global strategic partner and as an iPSC expert, Evotec has exceeded all our expectations and we welcome them to join our advisory board. Today’s announcement of this joint iPSC beta-cell partnership completes the three pillars of our diabetes cell therapy platform. Alongside our clinically validated Cell Pouch System and recently acquired conformal coating immune protection technology, this now establishes a total regenerative medicine cell therapy solution for insulin-dependent diabetes.”

Lina Adams

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