PIONEERING ANIMAL STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY
We are creating first in class models for dogs, cats, cows, horses and pigs.
Animal research has been an essential contributor to improved human health. We owe several vaccinations and understanding of diseases and treatments to animal sacrifices. But there is an urgent need to reconsider and reduce animal testing.
IN 2020 IN GREAT BRITAIN, 2.88 MILLION PROCEDURES INVOLVED LIVING ANIMALS. But over half, 53% of experimental testing, was for basic research focusing on the immune system, nervous system and cancers.
MULTISPECIES STEM CELL DIFFERENTIATION TO NEURONS, LIVER & HEART CELLS
Our team has over ten years of experience creating unique stem cell models that can reduce animal testing. In 2014 the first functional neurons were reported from horses by Sharma et al. Now, our CEO Dr Ruchi leads an industrial partnership creating multi-species neuronal models. These are significant as they provide an alternative to animal testing and would be game-changing for pain management and finding new anaesthetics for veterinary applications. However, the method used for reprogramming stem cells from animal species needs optimisation for cellular therapies, differentiation, and veterinary applications.
Read MoreRead more about the scientific discovery on ScienceDaily
The industrial applications include novel modelling of the brain, liver, and heart for multi-species modelling, replacing in vivo animal testing
Stem cells hold great potential for cellular therapies, drug discovery and disease modelling. However, It requires a laboratory assay that consists of injecting cells under mice's skin, allowing cells to differentiate spontaneously and is a determinant of stemness and capability to form multiple cell types. We have integrated stem cell research with tissue engineering, advanced imaging, and molecular analysis, allowing similar data to be generated in the laboratory without animal experiments. This technology further allows fast turnaround, saving costs and unnecessary experimentation.
BIOINFORMATICS AND ANALYSIS OF PLURIPOTENCY-ASSOCIATED BIOMARKERS
FUNCTIONALITY ASSESSMENT THROUGH MICROELECTRODE ARRAY OR CHIP STUDY
Animal models often fail to predict human responses due to interspecies differences. However, as there is little alternative, animal testing continues.
We are creating new laboratory models to study complex diseases for which it is difficult to obtain human cells, for instance, new treatment development for hearing loss. Neurodegeneration is a common cause of hearing loss. Nevertheless, there are no treatments available. That is why research should focus on novel therapies. Traditionally, foetal mice are sacrificed to obtain the necessary sensory neurons to investigate the disease mechanism.
We are actively working on creating sensory neurons to model hearing loss and encourage research. We initially partnered with Prof Bence at the University of Cambridge to develop a proof of principle, followed by a multinational partnership to explore new methods to create sensory neurons. This first of its kind project can benefit not only patients but could also replace foetal mice usage for research.