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Sistemic to work with TiGenix on landmark EUR 5.9 million, FP7 European project aiming at developing an innovative rheumatoid arthritis cell therapy treatment product

SistemicSistemic is delighted to announce that its proprietary technology (SistemQCTM) has been chosen to form a key part of the research and production process for a landmark multinational collaborative project led by TiGenix, Belgium and including partners from Spain, France, the Netherlands as well as the UK and Belgium. The project, REGENER-AR, will bring the first stem cell therapy product for rheumatoid arthritis, Cx611, through final research and clinical development.

The proprietary SistemQCTM miRNA-based stem cell characterization and quality control tool-kit will provide important insights into process optimization and QC testing of TiGenix's pioneering cell therapy product. This work is part of a larger collaborative effort led by TiGenix and funded by a EUR 5.9 million European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) grant under the topic "Regenerative medicine clinical trials" within the Health theme.

SistemQCTM combines robust miRNA profiling with superior statistical analytics and multi-layered contextual analysis to generate a fingerprint of key miRNAs (kmiRTMs). This approach provides a succinct read out on the status of the cells, with the added benefit of being able to interpret the underlying biological effects associated with any change observed. Additionally, the kmiRTM fingerprints can be adapted to a QPCR method for ease of integration into laboratory routine, and provide rapid testing. They can be used as a cell phenotype characterization tool in combination with a qualitative assessment of product cell composition, or to monitor product quality during scale-up and aid the selection of manufacturing process improvements.

Dr Vincent O'Brien, Sistemic's Chief Science Officer said, "We are honoured to be working with TiGenix and Cellerix, its Spanish subsidiary as well as partners from all over Europe. Sistemic will provide in-depth product characterization data during the clinical trial with Cx611. This will be a critical part of the development and subsequent production process. We look forward to collaborating with all of the consortium members on this important project as we are supportive of the potential of cell therapy products to bring real benefits to those patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis."

The collaborative project, referred to as the REGENER-AR consortium, brings together 10 top-level research institutes, medical entities and biotechnology companies from Spain, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. The consortium has defined a clinical translational project with the aim of developing a broadly available, clinically applicable treatment for rheumatoid arthritis by exploiting human allogeneic mesenchymal adult stem cells extracted from adipose tissue (eASCs).

Sistemic provides innovative miRNA-based products to the cell therapy, drug development and bioprocessing markets. The company's pioneering approach enables companies to accelerate drug discovery and development programmes whilst reducing development risk.

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