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Collaboration to extend product pipeline

LCT collaborates with Auckland University Centre for Brain Research to extend product pipeline

16 May 2017 – Sydney, Australia & Auckland, New Zealand – Living Cell Technologies Limited has initiated a research collaboration with the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at the University of Auckland. The research collaboration will explore how LCT’s products can reverse human brain neurodegenerative processes associated with pericytes (and other brain cells), which help sustain the blood-brain barrier and other homeostatic and haemostatic functions in the brain.

The agreement has two primary goals. The first is to extend the pipeline for LCT’s lead product NTCELL® by examining the effects of NTCELL on cell cultures derived from human brains with Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. The second is to identify other encapsulated cell therapies which may have potential to treat these neurodegenerative disorders by examining whether they can promote neuroprotective effects in the brain.

The research will be undertaken by Auckland UniServices Limited (UniServices), the commercial research company of the University of Auckland, using the breakthrough drug testing and drug target validation platform, Neurovalida. Neurovalida, developed by Professor Mike Dragunow, Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull and Associate Professor Maurice Curtis from the CBR, provides human brain-based neuroscience research collaborations, partnerships and services.

CEO of Living Cell Technologies, Dr Ken Taylor, says the agreement enables LCT to benefit from the CBR’s world class capabilities.

“Animal models are of limited use in discovering new treatments for these difficult and increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. The availability of human tissue cell cultures such as pericytes, and other human brain cells eliminates that problem.”

Director of the CBR, Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull, says he is enthusiastic about the project.

“We have been working with Living Cell Technologies with the goal of defining a treatment-directed research project that brings together their expertise in the clinical development of cell-based therapies and our expertise in identifying targets from our knowledge and availability of human brain tissue.

“This is a very exciting collaboration with LCT which has great translational opportunities,” he added.

– Ends –

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