Theracell is in the process of developing novel therapies for the treatment of Cronic Kidney Disease. These therapies make use of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) and a special class of nanoparticles, referred to as Superparamagnetic Iron OxideNanoparticles (SPIONs).
SPIONs exhibit the phenomenon of “superparamagnetism”, i.e., on application of an external magnetic field, they become magnetized and on removal of the magnetic field, they no longer exhibit any residual magnetic interaction.
Mesenchymal stem cells in kidney disease
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be an important tool for the treatment of kidney disease. Their mechanism of action is mainly due to a paracrine effect: following their administration in vivo (through an iv injection), mesenchymal stem cells migrate to damaged kidney tissue, where they produce an array of anti-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. These secreted biomolecules can alter the course of the injury, most probably through the activation of resident renal stem/progenitor cells, that in turn take place in a cascade of events in order to regenerate the injured kidney.
However the stem cells can only have a limited (transient) effect on the treatment of the injury, as they remain within the kidney for a limited amount of time. Ideally, if the process of homing of the cells was more efficient, they would remain into the injured kidney longer and their paracrine activity would be significantly accentuated leading theoretically to better results.
The combination of super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) is an innovative project currently developed by Theracell, that aims to end up with the production of a powerful Cytonanotechnology platform for the effective treatment of kidney disease. The principle is the following:
- Through an internally developed technology, SPIONs are effectively internalized by ADSCs. Special care is being given to create superparamagnetic stem cell constructs, without affecting the viability and functionality of the cells. Therefore the choice of the right SPION is of the utmost importance.
- After the cells have been loaded with SPIONs, they are injected into the renal artery. By using a specific magnetic device to this end, the magnetic field can be applied for a predetermined amount of time, so that the injected stem cells would be localized right into the kidney.
- During the extended application of the magnetic field, the stem cells have the opportunity to exert their paracrine activity locally. The extended localization of the stem cells in the injured organ leads to an extended release of biomolecules, which turns on the internal mechanism of kidney regeneration.
- The outcome would be a significant clinical improvement of the kidney, verified by a decrease in serum creatinine and an improvement in urine output (Glomerular Filtration Rate – GFR).
TC-CNT-11141 is currently at preclinical stage. Is is expected to enter at Phase I clinical trials first quarter 2016.