The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) will provide its clinical-grade induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line to Seattle based Universal Cells for use in the development of its universal donor cell line.

“Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell lines hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine because of their ability to propagate and be converted into any other cell in the body,” the catapult said in a statement. “Through this agreement, Universal Cells will use its proprietary gene editing technologies to edit CGT Catapult’s iPSC line with the aim of developing rejection free, off-the-shelf products that can be administered to any recipient.”

The CGT Catapult developed the iPSC line in 2013 with the goal of establishing a clinical-grade cell line with a tightly defined haplotype. CGT Catapult has since been working to develop scalable processing platforms of pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives, to support the translation of research into commercially viable advanced therapy medicinal products.

By manipulating human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression via gene editing the universal donor cell line presents a significant advantage over existing cell therapies in its ability to be universally used. Universal donor cells therefore remove the need for immunosuppressive therapy currently needed with allogenic cell therapies, whilst providing the scalable advantages not present with autologous cell therapies.

“Editing pluripotent stem cells to create universally compatible, off-the-shelf cell therapy products will be critical for achieving acceptable cost of goods and reducing variability in clinical trials,” commented Claudia Mitchell, CEO of Universal Cells. “Catapult’s clinical-grade iPSC line is a solid starting material for the creation of such universal donor stem cell products”.