SAN ANTONIO – StemBioSys Inc. has announced that they are working on two projects that are being funded from separate successful Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant applications.
The first study is a Phase I SBIR grant titled “Expansion of “youthful” mesenchymal stem cells from elderly individuals for autologous cell-based therapies”, and is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute On Aging. This work is an extension of graduate dissertation research performed in the laboratory of the Company’s scientific founder, Dr. Xiao-Dong Chen, by Travis Block, Ph.D. (Sr Scientist at StemBioSys). Dr. Block explains that the aims of this project are to further develop methods for selective isolation and expansion of healthy, “youthful” stem cells from a diminished population of stem cells found in elderly individuals and to characterize their potential to treat age-related diseases.
These studies highlight an application of the company’s platform cell-derived, lab-grown scaffold for cell culture. While the majority of researchers performing mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) research are just beginning to recognize the importance of the interaction between stem cells and extracellular matrix, StemBioSys is the first company to commercialize a stem cell-derived extracellular matrix which mimics the natural stem cell microenvironment (niche) and provides critical signals for maintaining potency while being grown in the lab. According to Dr. Block this research could lead to new approaches to the treatment of age-related degenerative diseases, for which few options currently exist.
The second study is a larger, Phase II SBIR grant titled “hiPSC Cardiomyocyte High Through-Put Electrophysiology System for Detecting Drug Induced Fatal Cardiac Arrhythmias” which is being funded by the NIH-National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. StemBioSys partnered with CARTOX LLC, a start-up company spun out of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. The principal investigator for this grant at CARTOX is Todd Herron, Ph.D. Dr. Herron had previously completed a successful Phase I grant in the same area of research when he was visited by StemBioSys team members regarding a novel cell-derived matrix that the company was in the process of developing. Dr. Herron was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes of his initial work with the matrix in attempting to mature specialized stem cells into mature cardiomyocytes (heart cells) that could be used in drug development efforts. Dr. Herron stated “…..we were seeing a more rapid maturation process and increased sensitivity to drugs than we had previously seen before using other extracellular matrices…..”. StemBioSys and CARTOX are now collaborating on this project to develop a novel system for enhanced in vitro screening of drugs for cardiotoxicity.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the following Small Business Innovation Research awards: National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43AG058349R43.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44ES027703.
This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About StemBioSys Inc.
StemBioSys, Inc., a privately held, San Antonio-based biomedical company, manufactures and develops innovative, advanced stem cell technologies to meet the promise of regenerative medicine in a surging global market. Its patented and proprietary technology platforms – licensed from the University of Texas System – overcome key obstacles to creating clinically useful cell therapies. StemBioSys markets its products to the global research community under the CELLvo™ brand name.
About CARTOX, LLC
CARTOX, LLC is a private startup company based in Ann Arbor, MI that develops innovative assays for human cardiotoxicity high throughput screening. Its patent pending technologies-from the University of Michigan-utilize human stem cell derived cardiomyocytes for detecting potential cardiotoxicity associated with medications, oncology drugs, environmental toxins and genetics.