Plasticell, a UK developer of stem cell technologies and regenerative medicines, has announced that it has been contracted by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a pilot programme to develop regenerative medicines for the treatment of injuries resulting from combat or terrorism.
Plasticell will deploy its combinatorial stem cell screening platform, CombiCult®, to develop technologies for the conversion of pluripotent stem cells into platelets that promote tissue recovery and regeneration.
“This defence-related work is an extension of Plasticell’s programme for manufacture of universal platelets from stem cells in vitro, to supplement or replace donor-derived material which is perishable and in short supply. Platelet transfusions are used in a number of medical applications but could also be used to treat individuals exposed to high levels of radiation from civilian, military or terrorist sources. In addition to their key role in blood clotting, platelets have been shown to promote wound healing, nerve regeneration and musculo-skeletal regeneration, all of which are especially relevant to recovery from various forms of battlefield injury.” commented Dr Yen Choo, founder and Executive Chairman of Plasticell.
As part of this programme, Plasticell will expand its existing collaboration on artificial platelet biology with Kings College London. The MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), which develops technological innovations that provide an advantage to UK’s defence and national security, will fund the research programme and if successful, may provide further support through to potential applications in the front line.
Plasticell is a biotechnology company that develops novel therapies through precise manipulation of stem cells and more differentiated cell types using award-winning combinatorial screening technology. The company is based at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (UK), a part of GlaxoSmithKline’s Medicines Research Campus, located about 50 km from London.