UK-based developer of cell-based therapeutics, ReNeuron Group, has won a grant to advance the development of its hRPC stem cell therapy candidate for blindness-causing degenerative diseases of the retina.

The grant, which has been awarded under Innovate UK’s Medicines and Manufacturing Round 1: Challenge Fund, is worth £1.5 million. It will be used to co-fund a collaborative programme of work to be undertaken by ReNeuron and its partners, the Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, Roslin Cell Therapies and University College London.

The project will enable the generation of further cell banks of ReNeuron’s hRPC cell therapy candidate as well as the development of product release assays for late-stage clinical development and subsequent commercialisation of the therapy.

The company’s hRPC cell therapy candidate is currently being tested in a Phase I/II clinical trial in the US, in patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa.

This new grant follows an earlier one awarded by Innovate UK which supported the late pre-clinical development of the hRPC cell therapy candidate.

“We and our collaborators are delighted to have won this latest grant from Innovate UK to develop a suite of robust and reliable release and characterisation assays reflecting the mechanism of action of our hRPC cell therapy candidate,” stated Sharon Grimster, general manager Wales, at ReNeuron. “This is a challenging but vital part of the broader commercial manufacturing strategy for the therapy and we are pleased to be working with leading academic and commercial manufacturing partners on this important programme of work.””

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