Roslin Cells announced today that it will be working on a groundbreaking project called “UnTangle” to develop new treatments for dementia. Roslin Cells will manufacture and characterise induced pluripotent stem cell lines (iPSC) which will be used by researchers at UCL and University of Strathclyde to develop new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The researchers have already demonstrated that it is possible to use stem cell reprogramming techniques to transform skin cells from a donor into nerve cells which grow connections and communicate with each other. When this is done using cells from Alzheimer’s patients, the nerve cells created in the laboratory develop a build-up of tau protein, similar to that seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Aidan Courtney, CEO of Roslin Cells said, “UnTangle is a great demonstration of how stem cell technology can be used to create cells in the laboratory which have the same disease characteristics as those which cause patients to suffer from a chronic degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.”
The UnTangle project, which is led by Dr Selina Wray from UCL, has been awarded funding for a 3 year research programme provided by the NC3Rs open innovation platform, CRACK IT. It is in response to the NC3Rs challenge to develop human tissue models which provide a more realistic and reflective model of human disease than using animal experimentation - in support of the aim of NC3Rs to reduce the number of animals required for research.