Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have the potential for long-term self-renewal and can differentiate into various types of mature blood cells. This means these stem cells can be harnessed to provide treatment for a broad range of diseases such as hematological tumors, autoimmune diseases, and hereditary blood disorders.
The agreement includes the development of innovative genetically-modified hematopoietic stem cell therapies and the exploration of novel biomarkers to optimize quality control for stem cell production.
Founded in 2015, Beijing-headquartered EdiGene is a clinical-stage biotech working on genome editing tech to develop novel therapeutics for a broad rage of genetic diseases and cancer.
Meanwhile, The Haihe Laboratory of Cell Ecosystem, run by the Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, is focused on conducting fundamental research, innovation, and translation in the cell ecosystem.
“With top-notch resources and industry-university-research cooperation, we’ll facilitate the development of cell-based medicine and therapies,” said Professor Tao Cheng, deputy director of Haihe Laboratory of Cell Ecosystem and president of the Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College.
The hematology researcher has made a series of discoveries relating to the regulatory and regenerative mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cells: and was awarded the second prize of the National Natural Science Award 2020 as the first author of work on basic and translational research that advanced the development of adult hematopoietic stem cells for therapeutic applications.
“We believe that this collaboration with EdiGene will accelerate the innovation and translation in the field of HSCs, thus enabling healthier patients with new therapies."
EdiGene is scaling up clinical translation and development of the first gene-editing hematopoietic stem cell therapy in China following the 2021 approval by the China National Medical Products Administration its IND for its investigational therapy ET-01.
Dong Wei, Ph.D., CEO of EdiGene, said: "This collaboration with Haihe Laboratory of Cell Ecosystem will further our exploration in the field of hematopoietic stem cells. The partnership with this leading academic institute and our translational know-how enable us to move forward in bringing more innovative treatment options to patients in China and around the world.”
In 2021, EdiGene initiated a Phase I multicenter clinical trial of ET-01, its gene-editing hematopoietic stem cell therapy for transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia. EdiGene has enrolled the first patient at the Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College. Currently, the clinical trial is being conducted in Tianjin and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).
EdiGene also presented its latest research on new surface markers and migration of hematopoietic stem cells at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in 2021.