GSK has entered a collaboration to use UK-based firm Plasticell’s combinatorial stem cell screening technology, CombiCult, to develop haematopoietic cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

Plasticell is a biotechnology company that specialises in stem cell screening and the development of cell therapy.

Under the deal, the company will use its CombiCult technology to optimise the directed differentiation of iPSCs to specific blood cell lineages for use by GSK in its therapeutic research.

Plasticell will deploy the technology to screen combinations of molecules provided by GSK to identify and optimise iPSC differentiation protocols.

CombiCult will enable the simultaneous screening of multiple iPSC lines, thereby allowing the development of a protocol that is applicable across lines.

“CombiCult will enable the simultaneous screening of multiple iPSC lines, thereby allowing the development of a protocol that is applicable across lines.”

Plasticell founder and executive chairman Dr Yen Choo said: “During the course of developing its therapeutic programmes, Plasticell has acquired considerable expertise in pluripotent and haematopoietic stem cells, the derivation of specific hematopoietic cell types and the use of small molecules to drive stem cell differentiation.

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“Moreover, Plasticell’s combinatorial and multiplexing technologies are an ideal solution for iPSC differentiation where high-developmental potency and variability between different patient-derived cell lines often frustrates the search for robust and efficient differentiation protocols.”

The haematopoietic cell therapy portfolio of Plasticell includes the expansion of haematopoietic stem cells, which are currently in late pre-clinical development for cell and gene therapy applications.

The company is also working on the production of red blood cells, platelets and immune cells from iPSC.