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SCM Lifescience and University of Utah Announce Multi-Year Research Collaboration to Advance New Allogenic Off-the-Shelf Cell Sheet for Regenerative Medicine


Signing ceremoney between SCM Lifesciences and University of Utah Health
Eric Paulsen (U of Utah), Teruo Okano (CSTEC@Utah), Willard Dere (U of U Health), BG Rhee (SCM Lifescience), Randall Peterson (U of U Health), Sun Song (SCM Lifescience), Robert Silver (U of U Health). Photo credit: Kyung Sook Kim

SCM Lifescience Co., Ltd. and the University of Utah announced that they have entered into a collaborative research agreement to generate cell sheets and complete a functional evaluation of the allogenic stem cells using such cell sheets. Cell sheet engineering utilizes various cells to generate organized structures into cell sheets for different potential therapeutic applications. Preliminary research results suggest that cell sheet engineering can promote tissue regeneration by direct transplantation of cell sheets into damaged tissues.

The SCM/U of U collaboration will bring together expertise in cell sheet regenerative approaches from Cell Sheet Tissue Engineering Center at the U of U (CSTEC@Utah) and SCM’s proprietary single cell derived clonal mesenchymal stem cell technology.

CSTEC@Utah is an integrated research team at the U of U, supported by the School of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy, focusing on “cell sheet tissue engineering regenerative therapy.” The technology has already initiated seven different autologous first-in-human clinical applications in the world.

SCM specializes in stem cell therapeutics with platform technology in the field of high-purity isolation and cultivation of adult stem cells. SCM currently focuses on autoimmune diseases such as chronic and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), severe acute pancreatitis, severe atopic dermatitis, and severe liver cirrhosis.

Dr. Teruo Okano, Director of CSTEC@Utah stated that, “We are advancing allogeneic cell sheet engineering technologies– including preparation, manipulation, and transplantation – towards its clinical application for regenerative therapy. I would like to accelerate science in regenerative medicine by fusing SCM’s mesenchymal stem cells and cell sheet engineering technologies, and by developing solid regenerative treatment to the benefit of large numbers of patients worldwide.” 

“Under the terms of the agreement, SCM will fund a multi-year research program at CSTEC@UTAH on cell sheet engineering, and we are delighted to have finalized a research collaboration agreement with the U of U for the development of allogenic cell sheet targeting and innovative regenerative medicine,” said Dr. BG Rhee, Chief Executive Officer of SCM. He continued, “With SCM’s proprietary clonal mesenchymal stem cell technology and the U of U’s cell sheet regenerative approaches, we hope to bring this research program to clinical development and drive commercialization in regenerative medicine.”

About SCM

SCM Lifescience is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing next-generation stem cell therapeutics for difficult-to-treat autoimmune diseases. It has a robust pipeline in clinical and pre-clinical stages based on its proprietary platform technologies for isolating and manufacturing adult mesenchymal stem cells. Through over 10 years of R&D, SCM Lifescience has obtained intellectual property protection for its high-purity stem cell isolation technology and subfractionation culturing method in major countries including the US, EU, Japan and China.

SCM is headquartered in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

About CSTEC@Utah

The Cell Sheet Tissue Engineering Center at University of Utah Health (CSTEC@Utah) was established in 2015 under the co-directorship by Dr. Teruo Okano and Dr. David Grainger. The Center has been supported by the School of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy to form an integrated research team between biomedical engineers, scientists and clinical experts. CSTEC@Utah is currently supported by a Utah Technology Acceleration Grant  from USTAR (a State of Utah initiative) to accelerate its initial research and development activities. CSTEC@Utah seeks to develop new allogeneic off-the-shelf regenerative medicine approaches using its exclusive cell sheet technology for first-in-human trials, and to drive commercialization as a Utah Center of Excellence to address large unmet medical needs in regenerative medicine. CSTEC@Utah has international collaborations established with the Tokyo Women's Medical University in Tokyo, Japan in the field of cell sheet tissue engineering regenerative medicine since it was established.

About University of Utah Health

University of Utah Health is the state’s only academic health care system, providing leading-edge and compassionate medicine for a referral area that encompasses 10% of the U.S., including Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and much of Nevada. A hub for health sciences research and education in the region, U of U Health touts a $356 million research enterprise and trains the majority of Utah’s physicians and more than 1,250 health care providers each year at its Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Health. With more than 20,000 employees, the system includes 12 community clinics and four hospitals — University Hospital; University Neuropsychiatric Institute; Huntsman Cancer Hospital; and the University Orthopaedic Center. For eight straight years, U of U Health has ranked among the top 10 U.S. academic medical centers in the rigorous Vizient Quality and Accountability Study, including reaching No. 1 in 2010 and 2016.