BioTime Expands Ophthalmology Portfolio With Global In-Licensing Agreement for Retinal Disease Therapy From University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


BioTime announced the acquisition of global rights to ophthalmology-related intellectual property assets from the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center (UPMC), via the school’s Innovation Institute. The technology was developed in part in collaboration with BioTime scientists and includes composition and methodologies to develop 3-D retinal tissue derived from human pluripotent stem cells for implantation in patients with advanced stages of retinal degeneration.

“This significant addition to our expanding portfolio is a major step toward our goal of becoming an industry leader in regenerative opthalmology innovation,” Adi Mohanty, Co-Chief Executive Officer of BioTime, said in the news release. “These assets enable us to develop treatments for advanced forms of blindness for which there are currently no treatments available. We intend to build a strong franchise for serious forms of eye disease.”

“We anticipate that this technology, codeveloped with the UPMC lab for retinal repair and epigenetics, will allow us to generate 3-dimensional laminated human retinal tissue in a controlled manufacturing process. This could lead to vision restoration treatments for a variety of blinding retinal degenerative diseases, particularly retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, among other diseases and conditions,” Michael D. West, PhD, Co-Chief Executive Officer of BioTime, said in the news release.

Key aspects of the technology are described in three presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, November 12-16, 2016, in San Diego, by Dr. Igor Nasonkin, lab head at BioTime, and one upcoming presentation at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Congress in Basel, Switzerland, February 27-March 1.

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