SAN DIEGO, November 16, 2015 — ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company with the first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes in clinical-stage development, today announced that the Company has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Takara Bio, Inc. Takara will utilize certain portions of ViaCyte’s cell differentiation technology to expand its stem cell product line, marketed under the Cellartis® brand. Takara will make the technology available for research purposes only, not for clinical or commercial application.
The licensing agreement includes ViaCyte technology for a robust method of making definitive endoderm (DE) cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, a necessary step in the production of a number of cell types. Takara will incorporate the technology into the kits it markets to researchers, including the Cellartis® iPS Cell to Hepatocyte Differentiation System.
“During our work to develop a stem cell-derived replacement cell therapy for type 1 diabetes, ViaCyte scientists successfully addressed a number of difficult problems in cell differentiation,” said Paul Laikind, Ph.D., president and CEO of ViaCyte. “Licensing select aspects of our technology makes it more broadly available to the scientific community and should help to accelerate progress in the stem cell space across multiple therapeutic indications.”
ViaCyte is a privately-held regenerative medicine company focused on developing a novel cell replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes. ViaCyte is conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the Company’s lead VC-01 product candidate in patients with type 1 diabetes who have minimal to no insulin-producing beta cell function. ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product candidate is based on the production of pancreatic progenitor cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells. These progenitor cells are implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels. The VC-01 product candidate is being developed as a potential long-term diabetes treatment with the goals of no immune suppression required, and a reduced risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications.
ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia. The Company is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF.