genOway, a specialist in the development of genetically modified animal models, has signed a research agreement with the Griffith University of Brisbane, focusing on autologous olfactory adult stem cells. The research programme is coupled with a world-wide exclusive license to genOway for the rodent transgenic business.
The technology, using adult stem cells of the olfactory bulb, has been characterised on humans, mice and rats. Germline transmission has been demonstrated in mice, thus validating their use for the creation of animal models. The eight-month research program aims to establish germline transmission in rats using existing rat olfactory adult stem cells. This technology would provide a unique tool for rat models and certain mice strains that remain unattainable using embryonic stem cells.
According to the terms of the agreement, both partners will each bear the cost of their R&D efforts and genOway will have an exclusive license on the technologies for the creation and distribution of mouse and rat genetically modified models.
Nicholas Mathiou, Director of Griffith Enterprise, Griffith University’s technology commercialisation office, said, “Adult stem cells will revolutionise diagnostics, drug development and therapy. This technology really constitutes a leap forward to this goal.”
Alexandre Fraichard, CEO of Lyon-based genOway, said, “We are very proud to acquire the exclusive license for such a promising technology. Collaborating with a leading stem cell laboratory is a very strong business opportunity for genOway. The major benefit is olfactory stem cells exist in all species, paving the way for more predictable models. The first therapeutic areas to benefit from this innovation would be neurosciences and oncology, but also pharmatoxicology studies.”