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Regenerex in licensing deal related to stem-cell therapy

Awardee Story Regenerex in licensing deal related to stem-cell therapy
Date: Nov 01, 2013
Author: David A Mann
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

David A. Mann

Louisville-based Regenerex LLC likely will grow and add researchers in the coming years as a result of a licensing agreement announced Wednesday.

The company, an affiliate of the University of Louisville, entered into a license and research collaboration agreement with Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical firm Novartis International AG.

Regenerex was founded to commercialize the research of Dr. Suzanne Ildstad and her team at the university. Ildstad is a professor of surgery and director of the university’s Institute For Cellular Therapeutics.

The agreement provides Novartis access to stem-cell technology developed by Regenerex. The technology, called facilitating cell therapy, could help transplant patients avoid taking anti-rejection medicine and serve as a platform for the treatment of other diseases.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

In an interview, Ildstad said the process of searching for a partner and negotiating the agreement took about a year.

“We’re really happy” with the agreement, she said.

She was not yet sure how many workers might be added as a result of the deal.

Under the agreement, Novartis will invest in Regenerex’s research, and some of the money will be paid to U of L by Regenerex.

The deal also includes a sponsored research agreement to support a multiyear collaboration among Regenerex, U of L and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. That agreement aims to find new applications for facilitating cell therapy.

The technology Regenerex has developed involves taking part of an organ donor’s immune system and using it to create an environment where the organ recipient’s body does not reject foreign tissue.

U of L leaders praised the work.

“What she has done is potentially Nobel Prize-winning work,” said Dr. David L. Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs at U of L. “I do not say that lightly.”

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