Our Proprietary E-CEL® Technology
Angiocrine Bioscience’s technology is founded on key breakthroughs in vascular biology and stem cell research:
- Stem cells (SCs) and vascular endothelial cells (ECs) together form the “vascular niche.” This term describes the intimate physical and functional interplay between ECs and SCs in every organ of the body in which ECs harmonize the self-renewal and differentiation for both organ development and tissue repair.
- Efforts to harness the potential of ECs for advancing stem cell therapy have been hampered by the instability of ECs outside the body. However, innovative genetic manipulation, inspired by nature, can now create long-lived ECs that can be propagated in culture and retain their ability to nurture and expand SCs, while still remaining in a transformed state (i.e., not immortalized and not tumorigenic).
- ECs influence SC development both through physical contact via cell surface molecules as well as through soluble factors known as “angiocrines.” Both the surface molecules and the angiocrines are organ or tissue specific, i.e. designed to interact with SCs from a specific organ or tissue. Genetically manipulated ECs retain this “signature” even when injected back into the body and therefore, have the potential to be used therapeutically to orchestrate organ or tissue regeneration.
These breakthroughs, honed from decades of research by Professor Shahin Rafii and his laboratory at the Ansary Institute of Stem Cell Research at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, were licensed to Angiocrine Bioscience.
The E-CEL Advantage
The E-CEL® Technology comprises cultured endothelial cells, genetically modified via insertion of the adenovirus E4ORF1 gene. This genetic modification takes advantage of the natural ability of adenovirus to keep the host cell healthy while allowing it to replicate. By mimicking nature, insertion of the E4ORF gene allows endothelial cells to:
- Survive and grow outside the body (ex-vivo);
- Secrete tissue-specific angiocrines at physiological levels, initiating the process of tissue regeneration;
- Expand SCs that maintain the phenotypic fidelity from different sources.