Partnering opportunity in regenerative medicine and cell therapy

November 20, 2018 by School of Medicine Webmaster

This opportunity was sent to us by the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, of which UVA is a member.

A British firm, Cell Guidance Systems, who is  a MTEC member, has an exciting enabling technology (PODS technology) within the regenerative medicine, cell therapeutic space.  They are looking for potential partners who might want to employ their technology as a means to improve cell production and stability for a multitude of potential applications.  Please read Michael Jones’ short explanation below and reach out to him if you find this of interest – for either MTEC application or other military and civilian applications.

The therapeutic potential of proteins is undermined by their instability. In particular, instability critically limits the potential of growth factors in regenerative medicine. PODS technology addresses this problem by readily generating highly stable, injectable micro-crystals of a desired protein. Dissociation of crystals and slow release of bioactive proteins is subsequently achieved by the action of specific proteases or by pH adjustment (to >pH9) .

PODS crystals have multiple benefits:

  • The duration of a target tissues exposure to a protein’s therapeutic effect is increased (weeks and months  – instead of hours and days).
  • Protein concentrations required are lowered by several orders of magnitude, reducing the scope for both on-target and off-target toxicity.
  • Surfaces and biomaterials (e.g. scaffolds) can be functionalized (by incorporation during manufacture or coating).
  • Proteins can be stored, even in a gel or buffer, at ambient temperatures for prolonged periods.

Therapeutic programs and collaborations currently utilizing PODS include:

  • Hearing Loss – Cochlear implant coating with a neurotrophin to promote implant integration (Otolaryngology, Northwestern University).
  • Osteoarthritis – BMP proteins for repair of articular cartilage (Orthopaedics, Cambridge University).
  • Blindness – Supporting survival and integration of transplanted retinal cells (Schepens, Harvard University).
  • Bone repair – Utilizing BMP to repair non-union fractures (Major Pharma).

Potential applications include:

  • Nerve regeneration (e.g spinal injury)
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Soft tissue repair
  • Wound healing and scar reduction
  • Oral protein delivery to lower GI tract
  • Anti-infectives
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer therapy
  • Medical device integration

Cell Guidance Systems is seeking to partner with additional researchers, clinicians and organizations who have specific needs and expertise in a range of therapeutic areas. For further information, please contact Michael Jones, CEO at

Filed Under: Funding Opportunities