Singapore, 31 December 2021 – Cell therapy firm RxCell Inc. (“RxCell” or the “Company”) plans to apply for regulatory approval in the United States for first-in-human trials to treat age-related retinal degeneration and inherited retinal diseases (“IRDs”) after netting an investment from the Regenosis Gero-Science Fund (the “Fund”).
Age-related macular degeneration accounts for 9 percent of all blindness worldwide and is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries, especially among the elderly aged above 60 years. Globally, it is estimated that 288 million people will suffer from age-related macular degeneration in 2040. [i] IRDs are a group of diseases that can cause severe vision loss or even blindness due to at least one genetic defector disorder. IRDs occur in one in every 2,000 people and are the leading cause of vision loss in people aged between 15 and 45 years of age. [ii] There is no known treatment for dry form advanced macular degeneration and there is no widespread applicable treatment for all IRDs.
In a study published in Stem Cell Research and Therapy on 19 August 2021, scientists from The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (“A*STAR”)’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (“IMCB”), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (“NUS Medicine”), the Singapore Eye Research Institute (“SERI”) and RxCell successfully transplanted photoreceptors into primates by using allogenic stem cells as source material, thus demonstrating safety and therapeutic potential for future clinical trials. [iii]
To further leverage on RxCell’s clinical grade induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (“iPSC”) line and proprietary hypoimmunogenic iPSC strategy, A*STAR’s IMCB, RXCell, NUS Medicine and SERI have announced on 11 October 2021 their collaboration to setup a joint lab and develop next generation cellular therapeutics forage-related retinal and musculoskeletal diseases. [iv]
RxCell is one of the Fund’s identified targets in its pipeline at inception in May 2021. The investment demonstrates the Fund’s commitment in executing its strategy to invest in maturing translational Geroscience technologies with the objective of monetization within three years or more. The Fund aims to provide exposure to highly exclusive investment opportunities for accredited investors.
Edge Capital Asset Management Pte. Ltd. is the appointed investment manager of the Fund. Interested parties may refer to https://www.edgecap-am.com/portfolio/regenosis-gero-science-fund.
RxCell is a cell therapy company with clear pipelines of products and next generation products. It has manufactured a Master Cell Bank of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) for allogenic therapy including current Investigational New Drug activities for retinal degenerative disorders. This is the first USFDA-approved induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (“iPSC”) line developed under Current Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”)-compliant conditions including tissue sourcing, manufacturing, testing and storage. More recently, it has developed a novel hypoimmunogenic strategy and made universal iPSC lines that can be used to manufacture differentiated cells for allogenic therapy. It also has a safe harbor patented technology that allows for expressing therapeutic products that can be delivered to target locations for prolonged and sustained delivery of biologics.
In addition, RxCell markets cells and media as well as other associated reagents for academic and drug discovery research though its XCell Science brand (http://www.xcellscience.com/).
[i] WanLing Wong, Xinyi Su, Xiang Li, Chui Ming G Cheung, Ronald Klein, Ching-YuCheng, Tien Yin Wong, Global prevalence of age-related macular degenerationand disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review andmeta-analysis, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014, Pagese106-e116, ISSN 2214-109X, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70145-1.
[ii] CremersFPM, Boon CJF, Bujakowska K, Zeitz C. Special Issue Introduction: Inherited RetinalDisease: Novel Candidate Genes, Genotype–Phenotype Correlations, andInheritance Models. Genes. 2018; 9(4):215. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9040215
[iii] Lingam,S., Liu, Z., Yang, B. et al. cGMP-grade human iPSC-derived retinalphotoreceptor precursor cells rescue cone photoreceptor damage in non-humanprimates. Stem Cell Res Ther 12, 464 (2021).https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-021-02539-8
[iv] Media Release 11 October 2021 “A*STAR’S IMCB, RXCELL, NUS, AND SERI COLLABORATETO DEVELOP CELLULAR THERAPEUTICS FOR AGE-RELATED DISEASES” https://www.a-star.edu.sg/docs/librariesprovider19/newsroom/2021/press-release-11102021.pdf
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