Stage of Program: Candidate Discovery (DISC2, some 1.0 projects)


Microgel encapsulated iPSC-derived notochordal cells to treat intervertebral disc degeneration and low back pain

Research Objective We aim to discover an injectable, rejuvenating treatment for painful intervertebral disc degeneration using microtissue-encapsulated iPSC-derived notochordal cells (iNCs) using large animal model Impact Our treatment candidate may allow for a non-invasive stem cell therapy, targeting the underlying pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration, the leading cause of chronic back pain in adults. Major […]

Pluripotent Stem Cells for Tendon Tissue Engineering

Research Objective We propose to develop a bio-tendon engineered from differentiated pluripotent stem cells for the repair of tendon injuries and degeneration. Impact Rotator cuff tears are the most common causes of shoulder pain that require surgery. However, failure rates range from 20% to 90%. A successful tendon repair will have a major impact on […]

A Novel Therapy for Sanfilippo B

Research Objective To develop a Stem Cell therapy for Sanfilippo B syndrome. Impact There is no treatment for Sanfilippo syndrome, and other therapeutic approaches have failed in clinics. This proposal will develop a stem cell based therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome. Major Proposed Activities Generation of universal donor Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC H1) using state of […]

Novel Lipid Nanoparticles for Enhancing eNOS Synthesis for Cardioprotection Post Myocardial Infarction

Research Objective Our therapeutic candidate is a lipid nanoparticle that delivers a therapeutic dose of mRNA to the human heart, which transiently transfects of cells within the heart to improve function after an MI. Impact There is evidence for eNOS therapy as a cardioprotectant post MI; however, the progression of to the clinic has stalled […]

Autologous stem cell-derived interneuron cell therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI)

Research Objective Functional restoration following spinal cord injury using defined excitatory and inhibitory spinal interneuron progenitor cell transplantation Impact The development of a stem cell derived progenitor cell therapy with disease modifying potential for spinal cord injury Major Proposed Activities Define and characterize DI4 GABA and V3 Glut spinal interneuron progenitor cells derived from pluripotent […]

A treatment for Rett syndrome using glial-restricted neural progenitor cells

Research Objective We developed a novel glial-restricted neural progenitor cells transplantation strategy as a treatment for Rett syndrome, reverting neuronal alterations caused by genetic mutations. Impact There are no disease-modifying therapies for Rett syndrome. Our therapeutic, if successful, will be a first-in-class treatment for this devastating neurological disorder and potentially others. Major Proposed Activities Characterization […]

Modified RNA-Based Gene Therapy for Cardiac Regeneration Through Cardiomyocyte Proliferation

Research Objective Efficacious and safe intramyocardial delivery of modified mRNA encoding cell cycle regulators as a gene therapy for cardiac regeneration through resident cardiomyocyte proliferation. Impact This project would provide disease-modifying gene therapy for people with heart failure due to loss of cardiac muscle, a leading cause of deaths in the US, using novel modified […]

An hematopoietic stem-cell-based approach to treat HIV employing CAR T cells and anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies.

Research Objective We propose to transduce hematopoietic stem cells with vectors that encode chimeric antigen receptors targeting HIV for T cells and anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies for B and/or plasma cells. Impact Recent methods are limited by the rise of escape mutants against a single CAR. Our approach solves this issue by the ability to […]

CAR T cells targeting abnormal N-glycans for the treatment of refractory/metastatic solid cancers

Research Objective Develop genetically modified chimeric antigen receptor T cells to kill incurable solid cancers by targeting a previously un-targetable tumor associated carbohydrate antigen. Impact Refractory/metastatic solid cancers are almost always incurable and have limited therapeutic options. Directing the immune system to kill cancer cells provides an unprecedented new approach. Major Proposed Activities Engineer and […]

Combating Ovarian Cancer Using Stem Cell-Engineered Off-The-Shelf CAR-iNKT Cells

Research Objective HSC-engineered allogeneic mesothelin-targeting CAR-iNKT (AlloMCAR-iNKT) cells Impact treatment of ovarian cancer Major Proposed Activities Milestone 1. Production of the AlloMCAR-iNKT cells Milestone 2. Characterization of the AlloMCAR-iNKT cells Milestone 3. Delivery of the new therapeutic candidate Ovarian cancer (OC) is the leading cause of death among women with gynecological malignancies. In the USA, […]