reNEW has teamed up with Danish biotech research company Bioneer and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in a four-year research initiative called DigitSTEM. The aim of the three partners it to develop stem cells into new in vitro disease models and therapeutics using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).
The focus of the DigitSTEM initiative lies in the areas of neurodegeneration and immuno-oncology, where there is an urgent need for improved translational in vitro models and cell therapies which could lead to clinical development.
“Developing new treatments based on accurate stem-cell based models of human disease is a major priority for reNEW,” says reNEW CEO, Professor Melissa H. Little.
The strong research expertise of reNEW’s stem cell specialists and immunologists, combined with that of DTU’s engineers and bioinformaticians and Bioneers’ expertise in developing stem cell-based disease-relevant in vitro models, has the potential to generate ground-breaking discoveries in the neurogenerative and immuno-oncology fields.
“The Copenhagen reNEW team allied with DigitSTEM, led by Associate Professor Agnete Kirkeby, are world leaders in modelling neurodegenerative disease. Improving our capacity to analyse drug screens performed with such models is a major priority for the field,” Professor Little adds.
Bioneer contributes 100 million Danish kroner (13.5 million euros) to the DigitSTEM initiative. “DigitSTEM is a cornerstone of Bioneer´s strategy… The closer we get to mimicking relevant human conditions in our in vitro model solutions the greater is the likelihood that we can improve predictivity of non-clinical studies and thereby reduce and refine reliance on animal testing during drug discovery for our pharma and biotech partners,” says Bioneer’s Chief Scientific Officer Christian Clausen.