BlueRock to commercialize ocular disease treatment

Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics and Opsis Therapeutics have granted partner BlueRock a global license to develop and commercialize treatment of human retinal diseases.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

January 25, 2024

1 Min Read

The partnership between Fujifilm, its joint venture Opsis Therapeutics and BlueRock was initiated in 2021. Initially, the partnership focused on three candidate programs, however, BlueRock will move forward with only one.

Fujifilm confirmed that allogeneic cell therapy developer and 

Bayer subsidiary BlueRock, will exercise the option to develop and commercialize its OpCT-001, currently in pre-clinical stage.

OpCT-001 is composed of allogeneic human iPSC-derived photoreceptor cells, that once transplanted, are intended to aid in recovery of vision by maturing into cones (responsible for central high acuity and color vision), and rods (responsible for vision at low light levels and peripheral vision). 

“A leading cause of permanent vision impairment and blindness worldwide is the degeneration and loss of photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) in the retina due to age, injury, or inherited retinal diseases (IRD). As these photoreceptors are not able to regenerate in humans, one solution is to replace them with cellular therapy,” a spokesperson for Fujifilm told BioProcess Insider

Allogenic cell therapies are derived from iPSCs which can be expanded indefinitely in culture and represent a limitless source of human cellular material. To produce off-the-shelf iPSC therapies, a stable master cell bank is created, capable of unlimited expansion and differentiation into any cell type in the human body. 

“The strategic research and development alliance will continue. BlueRock Therapeutics has only optioned OpCT-001 to-date, and with limitless source material, manufacturing of iPSC-derived cell therapies can be scaled-up and is a sustainable treatment option,” said the spokesperson. 

iPSCs are derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed into embryonic-like pluripotent states yields infinite sources of any human cell type required for medicinal applications. The financials associated with this agreement have not been disclosed.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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