Educated mesenchymal cells (EMC) are a new class of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy, in which cells are exposed to specific environmental cues to improve their immunosuppressive capacity prior to being given to patients. They are thus a promising new therapy for treatment of a wide variety of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
A Long-Awaited Development
One of the most common methods used to validate a MSC line is to show that the cells are multipotent, being able to differentiate into bone, cartilage, and fat. This doesn’t happen at random – scientists must add instructive cues to induce these types of differentiation. Similarly, for MSCs to act as immunosuppressive cell therapies, they must also be educated to adopt this specific behavior. Over the last decade, scientists have learned a great deal about how to induce MSCs to become immunosuppressive. Indeed, the founders of IMMPLACATE have 5+ years of direct experience with this. However, despite many publications on MSC immunomodulation, competing MSC companies and the hundreds of clinical trials to date have used uneducated MSCs, which are not immunosuppressive at the time they are being administered to patients.
While it is possible that a patient’s disease state will point some MSCs in the right direction, this may only be a fraction of cells and for only a fraction of their lifespan in vivo.
At IMMPLACATE, we prefer that ~100% of our MSCs have a therapeutic phenotype from the moment they are injected. This is achieved by briefly educating them with natural, instructive cues, with no need for genetic engineering.
This regimen is supported by preclinical data shown below:
EMCs have 75-100% of cells highly expressing key immunosuppressive proteins, while uneducated MSCs have almost no baseline expression.
EMCs are twice as effective at inhibiting activated T-cells in vitro.