PARTNERSHIP WILL DEVELOP IPSC-DERIVED PRODUCTS TO TREAT CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES INVOLVING DEMYELINATION AND DEGENERATION
SALT LAKE CITY and YOKOHAMA, Japan, April 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Q Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of clinical-stage cell therapies for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, and REPROCELL Inc., Japan’s first induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) company, announced the formation of MAGiQ Therapeutics, Inc., a Japanese joint venture company. MAGiQ will develop iPSC-derived, glial-restricted progenitor cells (GRPs), in collaboration with Q Therapeutics and REPROCELL, to treat demyelinating and degenerative diseases of the CNS.
“MAGiQ Therapeutics aims to bring this promising cell therapy product to market first in a favorable regulatory environment and to begin treating patients as soon as possible,” said Koji Kuchiishi, MAGiQ’s founding CEO and a board member of REPROCELL.
Under the leadership of Kuchiishi and Chief Scientific Officer Mahendra Rao MD, PhD, MAGiQ will first target the demyelinating disease transverse myelitis and the degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The iPSC-derived GRP cell (iGRP) product will be tested in proof-of-concept human trials, sponsored by REPROCELL, under the accelerated approval pathway permitted by Japan’s PMDA. This unique regulatory process, designed to move cell and gene therapies to human use more rapidly than in most countries, will enable clinical data and conditional product approval for application to regulatory filings worldwide.
MAGiQ is a 50:50 joint venture, in which Q Therapeutics will contribute its patented technology to derive and manufacture glial-restricted progenitor (GRP) cells from any tissue source, including iPSC. REPROCELL will support manufacturing process development of iGRPs through to completion of proof-of-concept clinical trials in addition to providing integration-free, virus-free and clinically relevant human iPSC lines using proprietary RNA reprogramming technology. The clinical data will equip both MAGiQ and Q Therapeutics to bring the iGRP product to other indications and markets.
“I am pleased to advance Q’s relationship with REPROCELL. Our joint venture will extend the product pipeline, build on our foundational experience in developing glial cell therapies, and demonstrate the clinical benefits of glial cell technology in multiple clinical trials,” said Steven Borst, CEO of Q Therapeutics. “I look forward to serving on the MAGiQ Therapeutics Board of Directors, along with Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama, CEO of REPROCELL.”
“REPROCELL is committed to expanding its business from tools and services to cell-based therapies. Our joint venture with Q Therapeutics is a next step in our business development strategy and builds on our previous collaborations in the cell therapy arena. Our regulatory expertise will allow MAGiQ to move this clinical effort quickly toward conditional approval in Japan,” said Dr. Yokoyama, “The PMDA and the Japanese government have provided a clear path to accelerate development of regenerative medicine therapies.”
About Q Therapeutics, Inc.
Q Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing adult stem cell therapies to treat debilitating CNS disease and injury. The Company has patented processes to derive and manufacture glial-restricted progenitor (GRP) cells from any tissue source, including iPSC. The Company’s first therapeutic product candidate, Q-Cells®, is intended to restore or preserve normal CNS activity by supplying essential nerve cell functions. Q-Cells may be suitable to treat a range of CNS disorders, including demyelinating conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis (TM), cerebral palsy and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and injuries such as ALS, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. Q Therapeutics has obtained Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance as well as Orphan Disease Designation from the FDA in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and transverse myelitis for its adult cell product, Q-CELLS™. For more information, see www.qthera.com.
About REPROCELL, Inc.
REPROCELL (4978: TSE JASDAQ) was established in 2003 with a goal of contributing to people’s health and welfare through the development of stem cell technologies. REPROCELL successfully went public in 2013 as the first iPS cell company on JASDAQ, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Market, and then started to expand their business both globally and rapidly through several M&As. REPROCELL is pursuing two business areas of Discovery and Medical using proprietary human cell technologies including stem cells, biorepository, bioengineered tissue and drug screening. REPROCELL has developed a proprietary process to manufacture integration-free, virus-free and clinically relevant human iPSC lines using proprietary RNA reprogramming technology. This process is suitable for manufacturing robust, consistent and high quality functional cells at commercial scale for use in both pre-clinical and clinical development activities. For more information, see www.REPROCELL.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information – This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements in this press release regarding potential applications of Q Therapeutics’ technologies constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, uncertainty of clinical trial results or regulatory approvals or clearances, need for future capital, dependence upon collaborators and maintenance of its intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Additional information on potential factors that could affect results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Q Therapeutics’ periodic reports.
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