Penzberg, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden, March 6, 2013 / B3C newswire / - Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and BioLamina, Stockholm, Sweden today announced the signing of a research and development agreement to jointly develop new cell culture systems for various applications, including stem cell research. The collaboration will focus on assessing laminin-based in-vitro cell culture matrices offering highly physiological microenvironments for living cells. Under the terms of the agreement Roche will provide R&D funding and scientific expertise to BioLamina. Financial details were not disclosed.
Laminins are proteins located in the extracellular matrix providing the stability essential for cell growth and behaviour. They are the only protein group in this environment that have a tissue-specific distribution, including expression of specific laminins during embryonic development. This makes them a very interesting target for new biologically relevant cell culturing techniques.
“Our aim is to develop laminin-based culture systems that provide biologically relevant, standardized environments”, said Ruedi Stoffel, Head of Biochemical Reagents & Custom Biotech at Roche. “We are looking forward to this collaboration to build on the revolutionary cell cultivation techniques developed by our colleagues at the Karolinska Institute and BioLamina.”
“We’re delighted that Roche has recognized the potential of our products and technology, which we believe will significantly complement their expertise and capabilities in cell culturing,” states Kristian Tryggvason, CEO of BioLamina. “By resolving many of the technical obstacles currently blocking the road to modern cell therapy, we expect this collaboration to accelerate the development of innovative cell culturing solutions that possibly can enable cell therapy”.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.
BioLamina commercializes innovations based on recombinant laminins developed by Professor Karl Tryggvason at the Karolinska Institute. The use of laminins solves practically all the technical problems confronting stem cell culture. When cell culture dishes are coated with biologically relevant human recombinant laminins, many primary cells, including stem cells, feel comfortable and do not change their phenotype. In principle, this allows infinite culture of stem cells and other primary cell types in completely defined environments in vitro. Laminins provide solutions to issues of repeatability and undefined and complex culture systems, making cell biological research and development of clinical applications faster, easier and more reliable. BioLamina has been producing laminins for different cell types and distributing them to all continents since 2009. BioLamina intends to become the one-stop-shop for superior reagents for scientists working in the primary cell culture and stem cell therapy fields. With its proprietary technology BioLamina believes its reagents can be a key to accelerating the development of new cures in regenerative medicine therapies for many serious diseases.