Q Therapeutics, a developer of clinical-stage cell therapies for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, and REPROCELL, 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.
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 Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (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.