TOKYO, Japan—Vision Care Group and ThinkCyte announced a research partnership aimed at advancing cell therapy in retinal disease. The partnership combines Vision Care Group's expertise in developing investigative cellular therapies with Ghost Cytometry, ThinkCyte's artificial intelligence (AI)-driven label-free cell characterization and sorting technology. The partnership aims to improve manufacturing and pre-transplant testing for retinal cell therapy transplantation, leading to the development of cell-based therapies with superior therapeutic outcomes, the companies said.The two companies have previously collaborated on technology research to increase the purity of target retinal cell populations using Ghost Cytometry-powered instruments.

This partnership will develop a new approach for label-free classification and sorting of cell populations used for transplantation. Ghost Cytometry, which combines proprietary optical technology and AI to sort cells without the need to use external molecular labels, will be leveraged to classify and identify retinal cell populations that were previously difficult to separate using conventional approaches.

The partnership will drive the application of Ghost Cytometry further into the field of cellular therapy development and will contribute to Vision Care Group's mission to produce pioneering cell-based medicines.

"By using ThinkCyte's platform for label-free classification and sorting of cells without the use of antibodies we can solve critical cell therapy development challenges. It can open the potential to make cell therapies without the need to produce clinical-grade antibodies and avoids the limitations associated with the use of antibodies for therapeutic cell selection," said Dr. Masayo Takahashi, CEO at Vision Care Group. "We believe that this technology will be important for us to select the necessary cells in regenerative medicine, and the partnership will advance the field of cell therapy development."

"We are pleased to be able to contribute our technology advancing the innovative research of Vision Care Group, a leader in the field of regenerative medicine for intractable eye diseases, which is considered a global unmet medical need," said Waichiro Katsuda, CEO at ThinkCyte. "We are confident that our proprietary label-free cell analysis and sorting technology will contribute to many companies involved in the rapidly growing field of regenerative medicine by advancing quality control and enabling targeted sorting of highly functional cells."