), an emerging biotechnology provider of cell and gene therapy solutions through its ongoing acquisition of the assets of
, today discussed the proprietary
, providing additional information about the science and technology behind the product.
was a technological concept over 20 years ago, originally designed for studying potential ways to create protection for cells and destruction of viruses through neutralizing antibody production. This concept soon became a reality and developed over time to have a wide variety of uses, some of which are still being realized. In the past decade, this concept has advanced to the point we can now fully address the enormous humanitarian value and applications as well as substantial clinical potential for treatment of an extremely diverse set of diseases.
The founding principle was to develop an
artificial, semi-permeable capsule
with sufficient permeability that oxygen and nutrients could reach encapsulated cells while cellular products could be released into the bloodstream or adjacent tissues. In addition, the capsule material had to remain robust, yet restrictive enough to exclude antibodies and immune cells. Otherwise, antibodies or immune cells would cause or allow recognition of the foreign capsule material, or the cells inside, and ultimately cause rejection and destruction of the live cellular implant.
After substantial research, initial capsules were created which offered strength and durability. The
patented encapsulation platform uses natural cotton, or cellulose sulphate, as the building blocks for the capsule itself, ultimately providing an optimum permeability balance. One of the best and most exciting properties was that the resulting capsules were non-allergenic. Additional intervening years included advances in purification, manufacturing, and chemistry of the cellulose sulphate to enable careful manipulation of the materials to allow specific size and characteristic capsules to be made.
Over time, advances in material science made it possible to vary the capsule size giving rise to a range from ~0.7 to 1.4 cm in diameter, about the size of the head of a pin. Further refinement has produced an extremely robust, yet flexible material. This capability enables varying numbers of cells to be placed inside each capsule, anywhere from a few cells to 10,000 or more cells. Even specific pore sizes can be created for the capsule based on the application. This unusual feature therefore provides an ability to limit or regulate what components or constituents can enter and exit the capsules.