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ReNeuron Extends Research Collaboration with Benitec Biopharma; Focus Is Use of CTX-Stem-Cell-Derived Exosomes As Delivery System for ddRNAi Gene Silencing in Cancer Therapy

On June 22, 2015, the ReNeuron Group plc (AIM: RENE), a leading UK-based stem cell therapy company, announced the extension of an ongoing research collaboration with Australia-based Benitec Biopharma following positive results in early studies. Researchers at ReNeuron and Benitec, a leader in the field of therapeutics focused on gene silencing, have discovered that ReNeuron’s CTX-stem-cell-line-derived exosomes are potentially an effective delivery system for Benitec’s proprietary DNA-directed RNA inhibition (ddRNAi) gene silencing technology, resulting in the silencing of specific genes in recipient cells to beneficial therapeutic effect. These early studies also indicate that ReNeuron’s CTX stem cells are a more effective producer cell type for this purpose than are mesenchymal cells, a widely used cell type against disease targets in stem cell therapy. Following these exploratory studies, ReNeuron is extending its research collaboration with Benitec in order to further test the potential of this combination technology approach, targeting lung cancer and other drug-resistant cancers. ReNeuron is a first-mover in the field of exosome-based therapeutics and has filed multiple patent applications covering the composition, manufacture, and therapeutic use of its exosome nanomedicine platform. Exosomes are nanoparticles secreted from all cells and which are believed to play a key role in the transfer of beneficial proteins and particularly non-coding RNAs from one cell to another. ReNeuron aims to exploit the therapeutic potential of exosomes derived from its own proprietary stem cell lines. Dr. Peter French, Chief Executive Officer of Benitec, commented: “We are delighted to be working with ReNeuron in this exciting emerging field of gene- and cell-based therapeutics. The application of Benitec’s ddRNAi technology to ReNeuron’s stem cell and exosome platforms represents a unique technology combination and opens up a wide array of possibilities for extending both companies’ core platforms into new therapeutic areas. Having ReNeuron as a collaborator on this approach increases the chances of success as their knowledge of stem cell science coupled with their unique technology platforms are tremendous assets in this area.” Olav Hellebø, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron, commented: “We are increasingly excited by the potential of our exosome platform, most particularly as a potential new therapeutic approach targeting cancer. The early data we have generated indicates that our CTX-derived exosomes may become a valuable new pipeline of cancer therapeutic candidates. We are also delighted to be extending our research collaboration with Benitec to explore the potential of our exosomes as a delivery system for Benitec’s unique gene silencing technology targeting drug resistant cancers.”

[Press release] [ReNeuron] [Benitec]