The company has signed an exclusive license with Indiana University Innovation and Commercialization Office for patented rights to groundbreaking inner ear organoid technologies.
The inner ear contains organs responsible for detecting sounds and maintaining balance, both of which are mediated by a sensory cell called the hair cell due to its specialized protrusions resembling tiny hairs.
STEMCELL reports hair cell dysfunction can result in many types of hearing and balance problems. Further, these cells in humans have limited abilities to regenerate and are very inaccessible for scientists to study. Drs. Eri Hashino and Karl Koehler, however, have derived methods for generating inner ear organoids from pluripotent stem cells in a dish. These organoids offer a renewable source to generate functional hair cells useful for many applications from basic research to drug screening.
“We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Indiana University Innovation and Commercialization Office, which will enable us to offer important tools to the scientific community. We expect to develop products from this license that enable scientists to have access to sensory cells in sufficient quantities needed to develop therapeutic cures for hearing and balance disorders,” said Dr. Allen Eaves, STEMCELL’s President and CEO
“It is exciting that STEMCELL Technologies has licensed the inner ear organoid technology,” Karl Koehler said. “STEMCELL’s leadership in this sector means there will be an opportunity for scientists worldwide to use inner ear organoids to conduct research that may lead to new treatments for people affected by hearing and balance issues.”