Manufacturing solutions for high value induced pluripotent stem cell products (MS-iPS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Surgery


The project aims to develop the standards of practice and testing systems that will allow research on stem cells to be translated into the clinic. The primary focus is the use of induced pluripotent cells (iPS), but the project outputs are expected to be applicable to other types of cells, including embryonic stem cells (ES). The team will have the following roles within the project:1. To provide the cellular materials to enable assay development and cell testing2. To test the 'quality' of different cell populations i.e. their stability and differentiation potential3. To analyse the profile of gene expression of the cell populations4. To analyse the genetically imprinted regions in the cell populationsThe above approaches will allow the project members to correlate different cell characteristics with the regulation of specific genes, and/or genetic imprinting. With further development, these discoveries will form the basis of new assays and tests that are used in the production of therapeutically competent cells.


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Description The aim of my group was to derive a panel of hIPSC lines from healthy individuals of different age and sex and then to characterise the capacity of the resulting lines to differentiate into the three germ layers endoderm, mesoderm and neuroectoderm. Accordingly, 45 hIPSCs lines were derived from 16 individuals 1 to 75 years old and with an equal representation of both Sex. In addition, we used two reprogramming methods (Sendai virus and Retrovirus) and different somatic cells (Skin fibroblast and vascular cells) to increase the complexity and deepness of our studies. 35 hIPSC lines were differentiated into the three germ layers and characterised by FACS, Q-PCR and immunostaining. These analyses revealed that hIPSC lines vary in their capacity of differentiation and that this variability is likely to be provoked by genetic background. We then provide large quantity of cells for epigenetic analyses to the different members of the consortium and then help them to interpret their results. We used these data to uncover new markers characterising hIPSC lines with a high capacity of differentiation toward specific germ layers. The importance of these markers was functionally validated by performing gain and loss of function experiments. These experiments revealed new mechanisms associating cell fate decisions and genetic.
Exploitation Route Explotation plan for Manufacturing solutions for high value induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) products (MS-iPS).

The aim is to produce a minimum viable population-signature which can distinguish good from bad iPSCs in terms of differentiation capacity.

The analysis will group induced pluripotent cells derived from patient tissue samples in terms of their ability to differentiate into the three cell lineages (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm). It will determine the key epigenetic marks which are the most important distinguishing feature to be able to divide them into "good" (those which can fully differentiate) versus "bad" (those which can't) cell lines.
Initial epigenetic analysis has shown that non-CpG methylation appears to be a good discriminator, whereas CpG methylation appears not to be a good discriminator. Thus, the project will select and validate a key signature gene set in the existing cell lines. Further validation work will confirm the initial findings with the end result being the identification of a signature array which can be used as a tool.

Examples of the application of this signature could be:
(i) Clonal analysis of revertants i.e bad cell lines which have been rescued to good ones.
(ii) Predictive capacity for cells from a completely different source/protocol but same differentiated lineages.

The route to market will be via the licensing of patented gene sets for arrays. The types of products based on these innovations are well established and will initially be focussed on the non-clinical research market in the near term while pursuing clinical applications in the longer term.
Sectors Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description International consortium large scale hIPSCs project
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Description Manufacturing Solution for high value Induced pluripotent stem cells product
Amount £656,986 (GBP)
Funding ID 100757 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2013
Title Foregut Stem Cells 
Description We have identified a new type of endodermal stem cells. 
Type Of Material Cell line 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These cells could enable the production of homogenous population of pancreatic, lung, and hepatic cells from a broad number of hPSCs. 
Description Collaboration with Epigenetic Experts 
Organisation University College London
Department UCL Cancer Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This grant has brought together experts in stem cells and epigenetics allowing the development of novel projects and innovative science. To investigate new mechanisms of regulation, to access unique expertise and to develop more competitive project.
Collaborator Contribution provide expertise for data analyses
Impact 1 publication
Start Year 2010
Description hIPSCs and Epigenetic 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The main objective of this colaboration is to define epigenetic variability among human induced pluripotent stem cells lines.
Collaborator Contribution Develop new approach to characterise hIPSCs
Impact Two publications are curentrly in preparation and we obatined a grant from the TSB to continue this work.
Start Year 2008
Description 4L Trophy Rally supporting Enfants du Desert 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 4L Trophy Rally supporting Enfants du Desert
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description European Researchers Night: LifeLab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact European Researchers Night: LifeLab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description House of lord enquiry on regenerative medicine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact NA / too soon

NA/ too soon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
Description Talk science festival 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at Cambridge science festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019