Allele Biotechnology and SCM Lifescience Sign a Joint Research and Development Agreement to Develop iPSC-based Diabetes Treatment

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%24Cell&src=ctag” target=”_blank”gt;$Celllt;/agt; lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Allele_Biotech?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#Allele_Biotechlt;/agt;–San Diego-based Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
officially announced a joint research and development agreement with
South Korea’s SCM Lifescience Co., Ltd., for the development of diabetes
therapies using pancreatic beta cells derived from induced pluripotent
stem cells (iPSCs).

iPSCs can be derived from adult human tissue cells yet share the
developmental potentials of embryonic stem cells. Currently Japan has 6
ongoing clinical trials utilizing this technology, but the rest of the
world is now joining the movement with 4 clinical trials initiated
outside of Japan in the past year.

Since 2009, Allele Biotechnology has been developing clinically
compatible technologies to produce high quality iPSCs and
tissue-specific cells from iPSCs. The pancreatic beta-cell program is
powered by Allele’s core capabilities, including proprietary methods
utilizing mRNA for generation and differentiation of iPSCs, and a
state-of-art, commercialization-ready cGMP facility in San Diego,
California.

Dr. Jiwu Wang, Founder and CEO of Allele Biotechnology, said, “We are
excited to have a partnership with SCM Lifescience, which has years of
experience in cell therapy clinical trials. This collaborative project
will help us quickly generate first-in-human results in the fast-moving
field of iPSC-based therapies.”

The purpose of the collaboration is to confirm the therapeutic
applicability of Allele’s iPSC-derived pancreatic beta cells for
diabetes and related indications. The initial efforts will be focused on
developing an autologous product for certain forms of Type 3c Diabetes
(T3cDM), that are inherently non-autoimmune in nature. Allele
Biotechnology also envisages alternative, off-the-shelf allogeneic
therapeutic products for other types of diabetes, taking advantage of
its growing bank of cGMP-grade footprint-free iPSCs, and gene editing
technologies.

SCM Lifescience currently has a number of allogeneic mesenchymal stem
cell therapies in its pipeline, indications include chronic graft versus
host disease, acute pancreatitis, severe atopic dermatitis, and liver
cirrhosis. The new collaboration will expand its capabilities by
exploring the iPSC-based market.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Allele Biotechnology for the
development of diabetes treatment which will be a valuable addition to
our current pipeline. Knowing Allele’s cGMP manufacturing experience, we
are expecting a great synergy with our recent acquisition of CoImmune
with its production site in North Carolina,” stated Dr. BG Rhee, CEO of
SCM Lifescience.

Contacts

Media contact: Carole Zeleny, czeleny@allelebiotech.com