The Mario Batali Foundation is pleased to announce its second grant to EB Research Partnership for its EB iPS Cell Consortium research.

EB Research Partnership is the largest nonprofit dedicated to funding research aimed at treating and ultimately curing EB – or Epidermolysis Bullosa – a group of devastating and life-threatening genetic skin disorders that affect children from birth and are currently without a cure.

The EB iPS Cell Consortium is a partnership of three leading EB research teams. The Consortium consists of Dr. Anthony Oro from Stanford University, Dr. Angela Christiano from Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Dennis Roop from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The EB iPS Cell Consortium made enormous progress during the six months since its inception in July 2016.

The goal of the first year focused on comparing and contrasting the different approaches that each group had taken to generating corrected human keratinocytes and sharing techniques and ideas in order to settle on one validated approach with which to move forward in clinical development. The protocol contains three major steps: reprogramming patient fibroblasts into iPS cells, editing the mutant allele into a wild type allele, and differentiating iPS cells into functional keratinocyte sheets for grafting on patients.

In the upcoming year, the EB iPS Cell Consortium will continue to optimize the manufacturing protocol, taking advantage of new technologies and developments discovered in the individual labs.  These include advances in genome editing, reprogramming technologies, and in process biomarkers for keratinocyte manufacturing.  The group aims to begin discussions with the FDA as they move toward clinical development and any needed additional refinements.

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