Wow! Tobacco plants, associated with lung disease, will be transformed into a collagen-expressing plant essential to the production of transplantable lungs.
CollPlant, an Israeli regenerative medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, signed a license, development and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation of Maryland for 3D bioprinted lung transplants.
The agreement combines CollPlant’s proprietary recombinant human collagen (rhCollagen) derived from engineered tobacco plants, and its BioInk technology, with the regenerative medicine and organ manufacturing capabilities of United Therapeutics subsidiary Lung Biotechnology PBC.
One of many companies founded by Hebrew University nanotechnology pioneer Prof. Oded Shoseyov, CollPlant will manufacture and supply BioInk for a few years to meet development process demand, and will provide technical support to United Therapeutics as it establishes a United States facility for the manufacture of CollPlant’s rhCollagen and BioInk.
The BioInk product line also includes a soft-tissue repair matrix for treating tendinopathy and a wound repair matrix to promote a rapid optimal healing of acute and chronic wounds.
More 3D Bioprinted on the Way
In addition to the initial focus on 3D bioprinted lungs for transplant surgeries anywhere in the world, the agreement grants United Therapeutics an option to expand the field of its license to add up to three additional organs.
“We are excited to work with CollPlant’s extraordinary Israeli technology to transform the tobacco plant that is so associated with lung disease into a collagen-expressing plant that will be essential to the production of an unlimited number of transplantable lungs,” said United Therapeutics Chairwoman and CEO Martine Rothblatt.
Once the agreement is approved by the Israel Innovation Authority and meets certain closing conditions, Ness Ziona-based CollPlant will receive an upfront payment of $5 million and milestone payments of up to $15 million based on the achievement of certain operational and regulatory milestones related to the development of manufactured lungs.
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