License agreement concerns development of cell therapies for corneal blindness

ERS Genomics Limited (ERS) – a company formed to provide wider access to foundational CRISPR/Cas9 – and StemSight, a company developing stem cell based therapies for corneal blindness, have announced a non-exclusive license agreement.

This agreement allows StemSight access to ERS’ CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio. StemSight is a preclinical biotechnology company developing off-the-shelf cell therapies for critical unmet medical need in corneal blindness.

Led by a team of expert scientists in the area of tissue engineering and stem cells for eye applications, StemSight originated as a spin-out from pluripotent stem cell pioneer Professor Heli Skottman’s laboratory at Tampere University.

The company remains at the forefront of innovative research in regenerative therapies of the cornea.

Meanwhile, ERS typically provides licensing to CRISPR/Cas9 technology for companies interested in pursuing its use in their commercial programs. It currently has 89 patents in over 90 countries.

Dr Laura Koivusalo, CEO at StemSight, explained: “This partnership with ERS Genomics is a significant leap forward for StemSight.”

She added: “By harnessing the remarkable capabilities of CRISPR/Cas9 we will be able to address major challenges of the current allogeneic cell therapies, ultimately bringing us closer to life-changing therapies for patients with currently incurable blindness.”

Eric Rhodes, CEO at ERS Genomics, concluded: “We are pleased to add StemSight to our family of licensees. This collaboration underscores the growing prominence of Finland, and the Nordics, in the global biotechnology and life science sector.

“StemSight’s use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop regenerative therapies that will change the lives of patients suffering from limbal stem cell deficiency is truly pioneering.”