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Axol Bioscience Appoints Steve Finkbeiner as Scientific Advisory Board Member

Adam Tozer

Renowned neurodegenerative disease pioneer joins the stem cell disease model specialists

Cambridge, UK, 19 April 2016: Axol Bioscience, a biotechnology company, specialising in the use of stem cell technology to manufacture disease-relevant cell based assay systems for drug discovery and disease modelling, today announced that Steve Finkbeiner, MD, PhD has joined its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Finkbeiner is a leading neuroscientist who will guide Axol in expanding its range of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural cells and culture systems to ensure that the company continues to bring innovative products to market. Dr Finkbeiner is renowned for his research in neurodegenerative conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. He is perhaps best known for his invention of a robotic imaging device that has helped to elucidate the mechanisms behind learning, memory formation and neurodegeneration.

Steve Finkbeiner’s research focuses on understanding how neurodegeneration occurs and elucidating therapeutic strategies to intervene. He has an impressive record of publications and sits on the editorial board of several journals. Dr Finkbeiner has received numerous awards for his work and has also established a centre to accelerate the identification of treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, which heavily relies on the use of iPSC models.

Yichen Shi, PhD, CEO of Axol Bioscience commented, ‘We’re proud to have such an accomplished individual on board. Steve Finkbeiner bring years of experience in plasticity and neurodegenerative research to the Axol team.’ Steve Finkbeiner, MD, PhD, SAB Member of Axol Bioscience said, ‘Axol are constantly developing new and exciting products to add to their catalogue of highly validated human cells, culture reagents and services. I look forward to working with them to help drive this forward.’

Dr Finkbeiner is currently, Associate Director and Senior Investigator at Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, Professor of Neurology and Physiology at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Director at Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research. Prior to this he carried out a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and completed an internship (internal medicine) and a chief residency (neurology) at UCSF. He achieved his MD and a PhD in neuroscience from Yale University.

Ongoing R&D efforts are needed to reveal mechanism and develop therapies

Despite the massive real-world data set showing a causal link between COVID-19 infection and neurological and psychiatric conditions, the mechanism underlying the development of the conditions following infection remains unknown. Further research will be needed to unlock this understanding and develop assays to help develop suitable therapies. The link between infection, and immune responses in the brain, and neurological and psychiatric disease has been well documented for some time. Better cellular assays are vital to accelerating R&D efforts to meet this medical need. Particularly assays that use the brain’s immune cells, Microglia. As our Chief Scientific Officer, Ashley Barnes explains: “This study highlights COVID-19 infection may be a significant risk factor for the development of mental health conditions and neurological disease. And, with ever-growing numbers of people being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, advancing understanding in this area is urgent.” Further explaining: “As the predominant immune cell type in the CNS, the use of robust human Microglia will be key for R&D and assay development groups wanting to tackle the issue of COVID-19 related psychiatric and neurological conditions. Our Human stem cell (iPSC)-derived Microglia can help accelerate these efforts.”

Robust, infinite sources of Microglia are readily available for R&D and Assay Development scientists

Our homogenous and reproducible population of iPSC-derived Microglia exhibit physiologically relevant functionality as they are highly phagocytic and produce cytokines in response to pathogens. Our iPSC-derived Microglia also express the microglia-specific marker TMEM119 along with myeloid markers TREM2 and IBA-1. These phenotypes make iPSC-derived Microglia suitable models for investigating neuroinflammation.

To find out more about our iPSC-derived Microglia and how they can be used in co-culture with cortical neurons CLICK HERE. To discover how Axol can perform neuro-immunological assays in house to expedite your therapeutic development contact us for more information: support@axolbio.com

Fig.1 Immunocytochemistry of Human iPSC-derived Microglia co-cultured with Human iPSC-derived cortical neurons reveals microglia specific maker expression TMEM119 and neuronal marker β-3 Tubulin.

Press enquiries

Dr. Michelle Ricketts

Axol Bioscience

T: +44 1223 751051

E: m.ricketts@axolbio.com

W: axolbio.com

NOTES TO EDITOR

About Axol Bioscience

Axol was co-founded by Jonathan Milner, PhD and Yichen Shi, PhD whose combined expertise and entrepreneurial spirit was the driving force behind the creation of Axol – where innovation, quality and customer service are key. Axol produces highly validated, human cells and critical reagents such as media and growth supplements. The Axol team is passionate about great science, delivering superb customer service and support and innovating future products to help customers advance their research faster. To find out more, visit axolbio.com.

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