Skip to main content

Cell lines developed at IU School of Medicine licensed to Canadian life sciences company



INDIANAPOLIS — Academic, clinical and industrial researchers who study therapies to prevent or treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, blood diseases and metabolic disease have a new source of myeloid-derived cells to conduct experiments, including pharmacological drug screens.

Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., which protects, markets and licenses intellectual property developed at Indiana University so it can be commercialized by industry, has licensed the cells to Applied Biological Materials Inc., based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. The company will commercialize the cells by establishing license agreements with researchers, who can then purchase the cells online.

Angela Trinh, senior licensing manager at Applied Biological Materials, said researchers who use traditional myeloid-derived cells have to isolate the cells from the source by themselves.

“Traditional isolated cells cannot proliferate indefinitely in culture, so the end user has to repeat multiple isolation procedures to obtain enough cells for experiments,” she said. “The IU-discovered cells that we have licensed are immortalized, which means they can proliferate indefinitely as long as proper culture conditions are met. Instead of isolating primary cells, researchers can use the same population of cells to conduct studies.”

The myeloid-derived cell lines were developed by Hong Du and Cong Yan, professors in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the IU School of Medicine. Yan said the cells could be a more economical and reliable method to study immunotherapy, or therapies that include substances that stimulate an immune response.

“Often, it can be very expensive — and sometimes impossible — to use animal models or human specimens to study these diseases,” Yan said. “Since both cell lines are myeloid-derived cells, they are great tools to solve these problems in an economical way. They are reliable and easy to maneuver.”

Du said researchers can screen drug candidates in the cells prior to preclinical animal studies and clinical trials.

“Using these cell lines, researchers can avoid repeatedly isolating primary myeloid cells from animals,” she said. “These cell lines are easily manipulated for DNA and siRNA transfection, receptor mediated endocytosis, and inhibitor treatment.”

About Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

IURTC is a not-for-profit corporation tasked with the protecting and commercializing of technology emanating from innovations by IU researchers. Since 1997, IU research has generated more than 2,700 inventions resulting in over 3,900 global patent applications being filed by IURTC. These discoveries have generated $133 million in licensing and royalty income, including $111 million in funding for IU departments, labs and inventors.