Essent Biologics and Amnion Foundation Partner to Provide Germinal-Origin Cells to Further Drug Discovery and Regenerative Medicine Research
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 12/14/2021
Distribution Agreement Will Allow Access to Innovative Full-Term Placenta-Derived Cells to Support Ground-Breaking Research
Centennial, Colo. — December 14, 2021 — Essent Biologics™, a leading supplier of adult human-derived cell and scaffold materials, today announced it has entered into a global distribution partnership agreement with the Amnion Foundation, a non-profit cell bank specializing in birth-tissue related cells and services.
This distribution agreement marks the first time that several unique cell types – cytotrophoblasts, Hofbauer cells, and placental stem/stromal cells – have been made commercially available worldwide for use in regenerative medicine, toxicology, and drug development. The partnership furthers the companies’ shared mission to democratize global access to non-controversial, full-term placental tissue-derived cell types.
“We have a strong relationship with Essent Biologics and are confident in our collective ability to make birth tissue-derived cells accessible to researchers worldwide,” said Sharon Presnell, Ph.D., President and Director of Research Services. “We are thrilled to work with the team at Essent to get our unique cells in the hands of leading researchers discovering and developing new in vitro models and regenerative medicine products.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Essent Biologics customers gain access to an expanded cell product portfolio which includes following Amnion Foundation products:
- Cytotrophoblasts (CTBs) – Germinal-origin epithelial stem cells responsible for creating a barrier between the maternal blood and the developing baby. Until recently, recovering cytotrophoblasts from a full term placenta was considered a major technical hurdle: the typical methods involved the use of preterm fetal tissue. Innovation from the team at the Amnion Foundation led to robust methods for isolating and propagating these cells from full-term placentae, after healthy delivery of the baby.
- Placental Stem Cells (PSC’s) – The placenta contains multiple specialized cell types, including phenotypically stable mesenchymal stem/stromal cells, that can be expanded extensively to create large banks of cells to support research, pre-clinical, and clinical programs. The PSCs, backed by over two decades of peer-reviewed scientific publications, are now available to support research in regenerative medicine.
- Macrophages (Hofbauer Cells) – Highly specialized tissue macrophages, called Hofbauer cells, may play a role in the vertical transmission of infectious agents, including Zika virus, from mother to child, making this cell type of particular interest in the study of infectious disease. These tissue-specific germinal origin macrophages provide greater context for experimental outcomes compared to standard monocyte-derived macrophages.
- Microvascular Endothelial Cells (MVECs) – Human placental MVECs are isolated from the microvasculature of full-term placenta and propagated at either standard atmospheric oxygen tension or physiologically-relevant oxygen tension. Unlike HUVECs, which come from large adult blood vessels, MVECs are germinal in origin and more biologically relevant for regenerative medicine products and in vitro barrier models.
“This partnership furthers our combined mission to provide our community with the highest quality of cell materials for research to move the needle in expanding regenerative medicine,” said Corey Stone, President, Essent Biologics. “This agreement will provide global access to the Amnion Foundation’s germinal-origin stem cells, a natural extension and strategic partnership to develop break-through processes and create unique, specialized products and to commercialize and provide to untapped markets.”
All four cell types and associated media products are immediately available to order at Essentbiologics.org/products.
About Essent Biologics
Essent Biologics is setting a new standard in human-derived biomaterials and comprehensive data for research. The nonprofit
biotechnology company provides low-passaged primary cells, research tissue and scaffold materials to advance regenerative
medicine research from benchtop to bedside. Essent Biologics supplies products in small or large volumes and serves as a
manufacturing partner by creating master cell banks and an inventory of custom products within a tailored specification. In order to
ensure reliable product quality, safety and efficacy, all Essent Biologics products are developed using robust design control
processes and produced under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). For more information, please visit
About Amnion Foundation
The Amnion Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As an operating 501(c)3,
Amnion actively processes donated birth tissues (placenta and umbilical cord) to generate viable human cells that are provided t
researchers in academia, government, and pharma to support the development of in vitro models and in vivo therapies. The
Foundation provides research-grade cells and related services to clients and has both GLP- and GMP-compliant capabilities. To learn
more please visit www.amnionfoundation.org. All donations to the Amnion Foundation are tax deductible and donors are provided
the opportunity to direct their funds across a spectrum of internal and external projects.