Medicyte and PRIMACYT receive grant to develop human liver cells for cell-based therapies

Heidelberg and Schwerin, Germany, March, 2012 / B3C newswire/ - Medicyte, specializing in the generation of human primary cells based on the upcyte® technology, and PRIMACYT , specializing in long-term culturing of primary human hepatocytes, have received a 300k  Euro grant from the BMBF to develop culturing methods of human hepatocytes  for use in cell-based therapies.   Cell-based therapies and the development of transplantable  bioartificial livers to treat severe liver diseases still fail due to the  limited availability of appropriate cells in large numbers and clinical  quality. These failures are often related to the complex and difficult  culturing of liver cells.   Medicyte’s upcyte® technology enables the expansion of human  primary liver cells to large amounts and with consistent quality.  Upcyte® hepatocytes are functionally equivalent to human  primary liver cells and therefore suitable for use in cell-based bioartificial liver systems. PRIMACYT’s main expertise lies in the serum-free, long-term culturing of primary human hepatocytes and the development of cell culture media. Both companies now combine their knowledge to develop modified liver cells in large amounts for use in cell-based therapies.   Dr. Braspenning, Managing Director and CSO of Medicyte stated: “We are  enthusiastic about working together with well-known German experts. I am  sure that this collaboration will result in a vast pool of scientific data  that support upcyte® as enabling technology of great value.”    Dr. Runge, Managing Director of PRIMACYT added: “The application and  development of improved in-vitro systems for the treatment of severe liver  disease is a key area of focus of our research and we believe the  partnership with Medicyte and the University of Tübingen creates an ideal  opportunity for our two companies to improve bioartificial liver  devices.”  The three-year project is supported by a team from the University of  Tübingen lead by Prof. Andreas Nüssler, a well-known liver cell expert.  The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the joint effort out of the grant program “KMU-innovativ”.

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