Ontario Genomics Institute Invests in Stem Cell Technology at Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics
TORONTO, ON, Nov. 12, 2012 – The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI), through its Pre-Commercialization Business Development Fund (PBDF), has invested in Toronto-based Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics (TRT), a company that aims to use umbilical mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat a variety of serious medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and Crohn’s disease, to name a few. TRT will use this investment to conduct studies required to apply for approval to initiate human clinical trials.
MSCs are cells that can differentiate into musculoco-skeletal tissues such as bone, cartilage and muscle. Their ability to generate replacement tissues and affect cellular processes such as inflammation makes them an exciting potential therapy for a variety of conditions. Unlike other cells, MSCs can be used without the need for tissue matching and can be accumulated in large numbers. TRT has developed new methods to extract MSCs from umbilical cords, eliminating many of the challenges related to MSC harvesting from other tissue sources.
“Stem cell research is a promising area of biomedical research and it could have significant impact for people suffering from many conditions,” said Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, OGI. “TRT is an excellent example of an Ontario company developing innovative therapies and translating research into potential clinical applications.”
TRT is aiming to launch clinical trials to test these cells within the next two years. The PBDF funding from OGI will fund proteomic and transcriptomic analyses to further understand TRT’s stem cells. These studies will provide valuable information needed for regulatory approval to conduct human clinical trials and further differentiate their product from those of competitors.
“We believe that these stem cells represent a unique and potent means of treating multiple debilitating diseases,” said John Davies, CEO of TRT. “The OGI funding will enable us to demonstrate the utility of our cells for clinical applications using cutting edge technologies.”
OGI’s PBDF program invests in opportunities — based in genomics, proteomics or associated technologies — that fall in the proof-of-principle (validation) phase of research and that have the short-term potential to secure a significant next step towards the marketplace. Previous recipients have included Ontario universities, research institutes and companies.
The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) is a private, not-for-profit corporation focused on using world-class research to create strategic genomics resources and accelerate Ontario’s development of a globally-competitive life sciences sector. Through its relationship with Genome Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and other private and public sector partners, OGI works to: identify, attract and support investment in Ontario-led genomics research; catalyze access to and the impact of genomics resources; and, raise the visibility of genomics as well as its impact and associated issues.
Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc. (TRT) is a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC) with a focus on the commercial development of their patented Human Umbilical Cord PeriVascular Cell (HUCPVC) platform technologies. TRT is the first company in the world to have issued and allowed patents in the USA, Europe and Australasia, for extraction of these unique cells from umbilical cord tissue. TRT provides license opportunities to collaborating partner companies in the family banking, regenerative medicine and defense sectors.
For more information on TRT, please visit www.verypowerfulbiology.com
OGI media enquiries:
Christine Beyaert, Corporate Communications Manager