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PrimeGen Biotech Announces Non-Viral Reprogramming of Human Cells into Stem Cells

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 26, 2008 - PrimeGen Biotech (http://www.primegenbiotech.com) today announced that company researchers have successfully used purified proteins and DNAs in non-viral methods to reprogram adult human cells into stem cells.

Participating in this week's Stem Cell Summit in New York, the company reported that this new class of stem cells -- derived from adult human tissues such as skin -- has properties of embryonic stem cells (ESC), as well as stem cells referred to as "induced pluripotent stem cells" or iPS cells.

Relying on a high efficiency particle delivery system to transport proteins and DNA molecules directly into cells from human skin, retina and kidney, researchers found that after one week, stem cell colonies arose that exhibited the markers of ESC and iPS cells. They also found that PrimeGen's reprogramming technology is orders of magnitude more efficient and three to four times faster than previous viral methods -- requiring just a week or two, rather than a month or more, to display the pluripotent markers.

Unlike iPS cells produced by other investigators in the US and Japan, PrimeGen researchers are the first to use methods that do not involve potentially tumor-causing viruses or genetic manipulations. And unlike embryonic stem cells, these methods use adult skin and other tissues from the patient, not embryos. As such, the company continues in its mandate to produce high quality cells that will be suitable for future patient therapies.

"We believe these new methods for making iPS cells could solve many inherent problems and offer great promises for translation into clinical trials," said John S. Sundsmo, President, PrimeGen Biotech. "Because these methods are so rapid and efficient, we believe they may provide a springboard into therapies that use a patient's own cells to prepare stem cells, thus, eliminating graft rejection and risks of graft versus host disease. We see these results as a critical step towards bringing safe, ethical, individualized stem cell treatments into the clinic."

PrimeGen has submitted its results, as scientific abstracts, to the 6th International Society of Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting, to be held in Philadelphia this June. Cells from PrimeGen Biotech are also currently being studied in several independent academic labs.

About PrimeGen Biotech LLC

PrimeGen Biotech is dedicated to the research and therapeutic applications of adult stem cells, leading to individualized patient therapies. Entering its fifth year of operations at the pre-clinical stage of product development, the company specializes in two core technologies: germ line stem cells and therapeutic reprogramming. Pioneering work on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), positions PrimeGen as a leader in moving this breakthrough from research to therapy. Future applications of both PrimeGen core technologies will enlist a patient's own adult tissue cells to generate stem cells for regenerative and restorative medical treatments. Based in Irvine, California, PrimeGen Biotech is a privately held, Delaware limited liability company.

Contact

Edge Communications, Inc.
Ken Greenberg, 818-990-5001
ken@edgecommunicationsinc.com

Posted: February 2008

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