VANCOUVER, BC, Canada – November 24, 2016 – Aspect Biosystems Ltd., a leader in the field of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a research collaboration with University of Victoria Professor Stephanie Willerth. The research collaboration is supported by the Stem Cell Network (SCN), Canada’s foremost research organization focused on supporting the translation of leading-edge stem cell research into new and better treatments for patients in Canada and around the world.
“We are very excited to expand our collaboration with Dr. Willerth, an internationally recognized leader in the field of stem cell tissue engineering,” said Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO of Aspect Biosystems. “Aspect Biosystems strongly believes in establishing strategic academic collaborations to realize the full potential of our broadly applicable platform technology. Combining our expertise and technology with domain experts in the field will allow us to accelerate the development of physiologically relevant and commercially impactful tissues and, ultimately, enable the development of ground-breaking therapies.”
Professor Willerth has been awarded $100,000 through the SCN’s Impact Research Agreement program to collaborate with Aspect Biosystems. The collaboration will focus on using Aspect’s proprietary Lab-on-a-Printer™ bioprinting technology to develop patient-specific living 3D neural tissues derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
“I’m looking forward to extending our successful collaboration with Aspect Biosystems through our recent award from the Stem Cell Network,” said Professor Willerth. “Combining the Willerth Lab’s expertise in biomaterials and human pluripotent stem cells with their revolutionary 3D bioprinting technology will enable us to produce personalized neural tissues in an efficient manner compared to traditional methods.”
Aspect CSO Sam Wadsworth adds, “This project is an exciting move for Aspect into the neural field. The bioprinted nerve tissues developed during this collaboration may be used as tools in the Pharma industry to better predict drug toxicity, by researchers to understand nerve function in health and disease, and ultimately, by clinicians to repair or replace diseased and damaged nerve tissue. Bioprinted replacement neural tissues could significantly improve the lives of patients with nerve injury or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, bioprinting with a patient’s own stem cells holds the promise for implanting tissues without the need for anti-rejection drugs.”
Read SCN announcement here.
About Aspect Biosystems
Aspect Biosystems Ltd. is a privately held biotechnology company operating at the leading edge of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. The company’s proprietary Lab-on-a-Printer™ platform technology is enabling advances in understanding fundamental biology, disease research, development of novel therapeutics, and regenerative medicine. In addition to its internal programs, Aspect is focused on strategically partnering with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic researchers, to create physiologically and commercially relevant tissues. These tissues are used to advance and accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies.