BetaLife and A*STAR Agree to Focus on Novel Cell-Based Therapy for Diabetes

BetaLife agreed to collaborate with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), both organizations based in Singapore, to accelerate the development of next generation cell-based therapy for diabetes.

BetaLife, a stem cell therapy company focused on developing regenerative medicine for diabetes, has acquired the rights to human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) technology from A*STAR. The technology enables the generation of iPSCs to provide a renewable and sustainable human stem cell resource to generate any mature cell type of interest, according to a BetaLife spokesperson who adds that such iPSC-derived cells can potentially be used to regenerate or replace defective tissues in human patients.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 530 million people worldwide live with diabetes, and human iPSC-based technology could potentially provide a curative treatment for this chronic disease.

BetaLife and A*STAR plan on generating highly curated human iPSC banks that capture the genetic diversity of Asian ethnicities and on developing human iPSC-derived pancreatic islet cells. The collaboration combines A*STAR’s capabilities in stem cells and diabetes biology with BetaLife’s infrastructure and proprietary platforms for the scaleup and therapeutic development of an off-the-shelf human iPSC-based therapy.

“Pancreatic beta cells derived in the lab from human iPSCs not only provide a cell model for diabetes research but may even be developed into a regenerative medicine product to help patients regain control of their blood glucose levels,” points out Adrian Teo, PhD, principal investigator at the A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (A*STAR IMCB) and scientific co-founder of BetaLife.

“Diabetes is prevalent among Singaporeans. It is heartening to witness how A*STAR’s R&D is able to empower local biotech companies to advance treatment for diabetes patients and contribute towards better health and societal outcomes,” says Hong Wanjin, executive director at A*STAR IMCB.

For more on stem cells see GEN: “Stem Cells May Move to the Front Line Against Multiple Sclerosis” and “3D Bioprinting and Stem Cells Help Create Model of Eye Diseases.”

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