BioLamina has announced a partnership with Danish pharma Novo Nordisk to develop stem cell-based therapies based on Biolaminins, human recombinant laminin cell culture matrices developed and produced by BioLamina.

Novo Nordisk has licensed three cell therapy projects that make use of BioLamina technology. These are intended for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, heart failure and loss of vision.

The laminins that BioLamina products are based on provide cells with an environment that mimics their natural location in the cell culture dish, imitating the cell-matrix in vitro and allowing for improved cell functionality. Different tissues in the body express different laminin isoforms, meaning a variety of cell types can thrive on laminins. This method of cell therapy development offers a possible solution to the technical problems encountered in research, such as low reproducibility and low cell quality.

“There is a high demand for BioLamina’s products in the development of safe and robust cell-based therapies,” BioLamina CEO Kristian Tryggvason said.

“It is really intriguing to see how Biolaminins are being part of building new therapies and can help contribute treating many people in the future.”

BioLamina’s products have become increasingly popular with researchers using embryonic stem cell or induced pluripotent-based protocols, who use the products to make their processes more easily reproducible.

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BioLamina has been developing novel stem cell products since 2009. Its most successful product is the cell culture substrate human recombinant laminin 521, which has shown an ability to address manufacturing-related issues such as low cell quality and yield.

Novo Nordisk is also due to collaborate with research groups currently developing potential cell therapies based on Biolaminin, including Malin Parmar’s research group at Lund University and Karl Tryggvason’s group from Duke-NUS in Singapore. It is hoped that the partnership will enable the therapies’ progression into clinical trials, and eventually into patient treatments.

The licensing agreements with Novo Nordisk follow BioLamina’s first cell therapy grade (CTG) product, dubbed Biolaminin 521, which was launched at the beginning of May.

Of the launch, Tryggvason said:

“Finally there is a highly functional cell therapy grade product available for the first time, allowing researchers to take their early protocols to clinical trials and onwards to commercialised therapy without significantly changing their manufacturing process.”