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Commercial licence to produce platelets from stem cells

last modified Jan 20, 2017 10:59 AM

Intellectual Property (IP) from Boston, MA, and Cambridge, UK, have combined to advance commercial development of safe, plentiful, non-donor-dependent platelets

Platelet BioGenesis, a biotech startup developing a method for producing life-saving platelets without the need for human donations, has acquired exclusive worldwide licenses to intellectual property governing the entire differentiation process from stem cell to platelet. The two licenses, one signed with Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialization arm of the University of Cambridge, and the other with Partners Healthcare, strengthen Platelet BioGenesis' intellectual property portfolio. Together they will provide a scalable process to produce human platelets from pluripotent stem cells using a serum-free and feeder-cell-free process.

Platelets, the cells in the blood that stop bleeding, are a critical first-line treatment for cancer and surgery, comprising a $20B global industry. Growing demand is severely limited by viable platelet shelf-life (Dr. Cedric Ghevaert of the Department of Haematology and the Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, and Drs. Italiano and Thon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Proof-of-concept studies describing this work are published in top international peer-reviewed journals and appear on the Platelet BioGenesis website.

Translating basic scientific discoveries into tangible medical progress is always a real challenge. Joining forces with Platelet Biogenesis gives us a real and exciting opportunity to one day provide hospitals with platelets for transfusion without having to rely entirely on blood donations” says Cedric Ghevaert.

"What we are trying to do is very hard. No lab is an island, and it will take all of us working together to see this through. I'm very excited by how much progress we're making." says Dr. Joseph Italiano.

Platelet Biogenesis

About Platelet BioGenesis (

Platelet BioGenesis is a pre-clinical stage biotech company that was spun out of Harvard in 2014 to produce donor-independent human platelets from pluripotent stem cells. Platelet BioGenesis has developed and patented a microfluidic bioreactor, and shown that functional platelets can be generated from human stem cell cultures at scale. 

About Cambridge Enterprise

A wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise Limited is responsible for the commercialisation of University intellectual property. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert advice or facilities to public and private sector organisations. Cambridge Enterprise provides access to angel and early stage capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, University of Cambridge Enterprise Funds, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners, and offers business planning, mentoring, and other related programmes.