PanCryos: DanStem Spinout Project

PanCRYOS - Developing a safe and scalable cell therapy for Type 1 diabetes

PanCryos is a prospective spin out company arising from DanStem, University of Copenhagen, aiming to develop a next generation stem cell derived allogenic cell therapy (PanINSULA™) for type 1 diabetes, based on novel IP in the differentiation of stem cells into mature beta cells and in the purification of pancreatic progenitor cells. PanCryos has assembled a team with experts in stem cell biology, islet transplantations, business and regulatory guidance and is currently funded by pre-seed funding from Novo Seeds and a KU POC grant. We are seeking both partners and investors that could support our efforts in reaching the goal of a first-in-class phase I/II clinical trial.

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PanCryos in the News:

In vitro differentiated hESC-derived insulin producing cells (in white)
co-expressing the transcriptional regulator ISLET1 (ISL1, in red)

About Jacqueline Ameri

Assistant professor Jacqueline Ameri started her second post doc in the lab of professor Henrik Semb at DanStem in 2012, where she continued her research on the in-depth characterization of the hESC-derived pancreatic progenitors and how to direct their fate to glucose-responsive insulin-producing beta cells. In 2015, Jacqueline was appointed Assistant Professor and Project Manager for the newly founded cell-therapy program in diabetes in the Section for Strategic Translational Stem Cell Research and Therapy (TransStem) in the Semb laboratory. In parallel with her academic activities, she has as co-founder and CEO spearheaded a spin-out initiative (PanCryos) supported by Novo Seeds, Copenhagen Spin Outs, and Accelerace. In the near future, Ameri aims to shift her entire focus on PanCryos, which is founded on IP generated through her research at DanStem, and continue her efforts in establishing a safe stem cell-based therapy for diabetes patients.

Over a decade of experience has revealed the challenges and complexity but also the great potential and possibilities of this field and Ameri is today equipped to tackle one of healthcare's big challenges through her pioneering work.

When I started my PhD studies in 2004, there was a lot of hype regarding human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and how they could be used in treatment of various diseases. Being an enthusiastic postgraduate student and full of expectations, I was determined that I would be able to make a significant contribution to the field.  However, during my lengthy PhD studies I realized how optimistic I had been in my beliefs and expectations and started to appreciate the complexity of the project I had been given. Ten years later I finally succeeded in designing a protocol that allows us to generate hESC-derived beta cells through in vitro differentiation. Accomplishing this has reignited my hope in achieving a curative cell based therapy for type 1 Diabetes.
J. Ameri

Funding and Awards

Received in 2015, (~2.5M DKK) from Novo Nordisk Foundation for her project entitled “Developing methods for expandable production of human pluripotent stem cell-derived insulin-producing beta cells for cell therapy in diabetes”.

In 2016, she was also awarded a proof of concept grant (0.5M DKK) from University of Copenhagen to support the establishment of the spin-out company “PanCryos”, founded on IP generated by her research at DanStem.

In October 2017, a second tranche (1M DKK) was awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation through Novo Seeds to the pre-seed project Pancryos (formerly DiaCure) to support the continuation of the project and importantly to complete initial in vivo proof of concepts studies with implanted hES-derived β-cells generated through the optimized Pancryos differentiation

Publications and Patents 

Ramond, Cyrille, Nicolas Glaser, Claire Berthault, Jacqueline Ameri, Jeannette Schlichting Kirkegaard, Mattias Hansson, Christian Honoré, Henrik Semb, Raphaël Scharfmann (2017). Reconstructing human pancreatic differentiation by mapping specific populations during development. eLife 2017;6:e27564, doi: 10.7554/eLife.27564.

Löf Öhlin, Zarah, Pia Nyeng, Matthew Bechard, Katja Hess, Eric Bankaitis, Thomas U. Greiner, Jacqueline Ameri, Christopher V. Wright & Henrik Semb (2017). Context-specific regulation of apicobasal polarity by EGFR orchestrates epithelial morphogenesis and cellular fate. Nature Cell Biology, doi: 10.1038/ncb3628.

Ameri J, Borup R, Prawiro C, Ramond C, Schachter KA, Scharfmann R, and Semb H. Efficient generation of glucose-responsive beta cells from isolated GP2+ human pancreatic progenitors.  2017 Cell Reports,

Ameri J, Ståhlberg A, Pedersen J, Johansson JK, Johannesson MM, Artner I, Semb H. FGF2 Specifies hESC-Derived Definitive Endoderm into Foregut/Midgut Cell Lineages in a Concentration-Dependent Manner.  Stem Cells 2010; 28: 45-56.

Fischer Y, Ganic E, Ameri J, Xian X, Johannesson M, Semb H. NANOG Reporter Cell Lines Generated by Gene Targeting in Human Embryonic Stem Cells.  PLoS ONE. 2010 Sep 2; 5(9):pii:e12533.

Johannesson M, Ståhlberg A, Ameri J, Sand FW, Norrman K, Semb H. FGF4 and retinoic acid direct differentiation of hESCs into PDX1-expressing foregut endoderm in a time- and concentration-dependent manner.  PLoS ONE. 2009;4(3):e4794.

Rintisch C, Ameri J, Olofsson P, Luthman H, Holmdahl R. Positional cloning of the Igl genes controlling rheumatoid factor production and allergic bronchitis in rats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Sep 16;105(37):14005-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803956105.


Inventors: Jacqueline Ameri and Henrik Semb, "INDUCED DERIVATION OF SPECIFIC ENDODERM FROM hPS CELL-DERIVED DEFINITIVE ENDODERM." Assignee: Novo Nordisk A/S and Cellartis AB. WO/2010/136583.

Inventors: Jacqueline Ameri and Henrik Semb, "ISOLATION OF BONA FIDE PANCREATIC PROGENITOR CELLS" Applicant: University of Copenhagen. WO/2016/170069

Funding and support agencies: