Partnering opportunity

Small molecules for selective elimination of contaminating pluripotent stem cells from cultures of their differentiated derivatives


A German university offers a new method for selective chemical ablation of undifferentiated cells in pluripotent stem cell-derived populations. It works with small molecules that are toxic against pluripotent stem cells but not toxic to differentiated cells of interest. Applications are in cardiac regenerative medicine. In vitro results are available. Industrial licensees are sought.

Partner sought

The university offers access to rights for commercial use as well as the opportunity for further co-development within a license agreement to companies from the pharmaceutical and medical sector.


The generation of cardiomyocytes (CMs) from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) holds great promise for cardiac regenerative medicine. Of particular interest are CMs derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) because they can be obtained by converting autologous somatic cells into an early embryonic PSC-like state, thus circumventing ethical concerns related to the use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, a fundamental obstacle in the use of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) are contaminating undifferentiated PSCs that remain in the population of differentiated cells which carry the risk of tumour formation. This problem is due to an incomplete in vitro differentiation of PSCs to CMs. While genetic manipulations are effective in removal of contaminating PSCs they raise safety concerns. PSC ablation by immunologic targeting is safe but less efficient because single-cell dissociation is required. A German university now offers a most promising strategy: the selective chemical ablation of undifferentiated cells in PSC-derived populations using small molecules which are not toxic to differentiated cells of interest. The diamines of the general formula (see figure), particularly salicylic diamines, are capable of selectively eliminating PSCs from their differentiated derivatives. The diamines exhibit high cytotoxicity to murine and human PSCs but not to CMs derived from these. They are suitable for the elimination of PSCs from differentiating derivatives that contain CMs, either in unpurified or pre-purified form. First in vitro results with murine and human cells are available. The university offers licensing agreements to pharmaceutical industry. This would include further co-development.

Advantages and innovations

This invention presents a new route to cardiomyocytes. It distinguishes itself from other approaches by the fact that the compounds are toxic against PSCs but not against differentiated derivatives. The PSC-specific cytotoxic activity is furthermore significantly higher than in known small molecules. Advantages are that the compounds are readily available and that they can be used in tissue repair.

Development stage

Under development/lab tested

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Register your interest

How it works

  • Tell us about yourself
  • We’ll discuss with you
  • We put the right partners in touch

EEN help you find the right partner, rather than you going it alone.

Our role is to review and collate the most suitable submissions, and then send them to the client who posted the opportunity. We consult with you, and the client, to make the process professional and easy.

These are live opportunities. Your registration of interest on the site is just like a professional approach to a business at a networking event. To stand the best chance of success, make your submission really sing. Sell why the client who posted the opportunity should work with you. Excite them. Ask questions. Try and avoid copy and pasting words from elsewhere.

Once the client has chosen their partner, we'll introduce them over email and keep in touch with both parties to see how it's going. Sometimes things progress quickly. Sometimes because of changing priorities for either party, things progress slowly, but you never know - your next big business break could start right here.

?What value does EEN add?
This is your pitch: remember to include your unique selling points (USP) and why someone would want to do business with you
Tell us why you are a good fit for this opportunity, and why you think you're the right people for this partnership
If there's anything additional, or commercially sensitive you'd like to know about this opportunity, please let us know

When you entered your email address above, we emailed you a code to verify you're human and have access to that account.

?What's this?

What next?

To finish up, we just need some extra details about you and your company