STEMCELL Technologies Signs Exclusive Agreement with the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology to Commercialize Cerebral Organoid Culture Systems

04/13/2016

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 13, 2016 – STEMCELL Technologies has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the rights to develop products for cerebral organoid culture to serve the international research community.


Cerebral organoids, or brain organoids, are three-dimensional multicellular structures that mimic brain tissue in vitro and represent a groundbreaking new way to model neurological disease. Deriving cerebral organoids from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells enables unprecedented insight into mechanisms of human neural development and disease. Madeline Lancaster and Jürgen Knoblich developed a cerebral organoid culture system, published in Nature (M. Lancaster et al. 2013), that is rapidly being adopted by researchers worldwide.


“These ‘mini brains’ resemble the early steps of human embryonic brain development, making them excellent model systems,” says Knoblich, Deputy Scientific Director of IMBA. “We’ve already been able to model microcephaly with the cerebral organoids and hope that by making this technology available, we’ll enable scientists from across the globe to develop other models for neurological diseases and disorders.”


Dr. Allen Eaves, CEO and President of STEMCELL Technologies stated that “we are pleased to have entered into an agreement with IMBA to develop products to support one of the most exciting new fields of scientific research. With this technology, there finally exists an in vitro culture system that gives us a glimpse into the complexities of the human brain, undoubtedly improving our understanding of brain development and neurological diseases.”


Commenting on the agreement, the Managing Director of IMBA, Michael Krebs stated that “IMBA is very excited to work with STEMCELL Technologies and contribute to its ambitions to build up a portfolio of products in the emerging field of organoid technologies”. Based on its patented organoid technology, IMBA is currently developing different disease models for neuronal disorders for use in customized drug-screening and/or target validation applications.  


The products for cerebral organoid culture arising from this agreement will complement STEMCELL’s extensive portfolio of products for neural cell culture applications, including the NeuroCult™ and STEMdiff™ product lines, together with the new BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium. All products are developed and manufactured using STEMCELL Technologies’ rigorous raw material screening and quality control processes.


Contact - STEMCELL Technologies Inc.

Sam Lloyd-Burton, Senior Product Marketing Manager

604.675.7888 / sam.lloyd-burton@stemcell.com

Benjamin Thiede, Business Development Officer

604.675.7865/ benjamin.thiede@stemcell.com


Contact - IMBA

Jürgen Knoblich, Deputy Scientific Director

+43 1 79044 - 4800 / juergen.knoblich@imba.oeaw.ac.at

Michael Krebs, Managing Director

+43 1 79044 - 4400 / michael.krebs@imba.oeaw.ac.at


About STEMCELL Technologies

As Scientists Helping Scientists, STEMCELL Technologies is committed to providing high-quality cell culture media, cell isolation products and accessory reagents for life science research. Our specialty cell culture reagents, instruments and tools are designed to support science along the basic to translational research continuum. To learn more, visit www.stemcell.com


About IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) is one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe focusing on cutting-edge functional genomics and stem cell technologies. IMBA is located at the Vienna Biocenter, the vibrant cluster of universities, research institutes and biotech companies in Austria. IMBA is a subsidiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading national sponsor of non-university academic research.

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