International Stem Cell's Scientists in Collaboration with World-Leading Stem Cell Experts Extend Understanding of Human Parthenogenetic Stem Cells in Peer-Reviewed Publications
OCEANSIDE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 25, 2011 - International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), www.internationalstemcell.com, in collaboration with leading stem cell scientists, announces findings that human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC) and human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are similar in their undifferentiated state, and are capable of differentiating into neural lineages such as functional retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells that have potential to treat retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
ISCO's CEO Andrey Semechkin, Ph.D., said: “These data are extremely important as they demonstrate that parthenogenetic stem cells have therapeutic potential like conventional embryonic stem cells; however, parthenogenetic stem cells have the additional benefit of superior immune-matching capabilities.”
This evidence is presented in a recently published paper entitled: “Equivalence of conventionally-derived and parthenote-derived human embryonic stem cells” published in PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science).
Hans Keirstead, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Neurological Surgery at the University of California, Irvine and the senior author of the paper, said: “This work is the first wide-ranging comparison between these two important pluripotent stem cell types and demonstrates that human parthenogenetic stem cells are capable of differentiation along retinal lineages.”
According to Nikolay Turovets, Ph.D., ISCO's Director of Research and Therapeutic Development and co-author of the paper, “Derivation of RPE from hpSC is the next logical step on the way to developing patient-specific therapies to treat eye degenerative disorders. If studies using RPE derived from hESC demonstrate utility in treating such diseases, it may become necessary to address problems associated with immune rejection. RPE derived from hpSC can be better immune-matched to the patient, thus reducing the chance of immune rejection.”
This work forms part of ISCO's ophthalmology program developed in collaboration with the team of scientists at the University of California, Irvine led by Dr. H. Keirstead. One of the principal aims of the program is to create three-dimensional retinal tissue for transplantation that may be used to rescue the vision of individuals with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of inherited disorders characterized by progressive vision loss.
ISCO has established collaborations with other leading stem cell researchers to exploit the unique qualities of hpSCs. In addition to the collaboration with Keirstead, ISCO scientists co-authored a publication with Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., the Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, entitled “Dynamic changes in the copy number of pluripotency and cell proliferation genes in human ESCs and iPSCs during reprogramming and time in culture” published in Cell Stem Cell in January, 2011. Ruslan Semechkin, Ph.D., Vice President of ISCO and co-author on this paper, said: “We are excited about being involved in Dr. Loring's work, which compares molecular characteristics of hundreds of different human pluripotent cell lines.” Dr. Loring added: “hpSCs are intriguing because they are pluripotent like hESCs, but have differences in imprinting, the process in embryonic development in which certain genes are inactivated. This makes hpSCs tremendously valuable for understanding the molecular basis of the imprinting process in humans.”
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB):
International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at ISCO's website, www.internationalstemcell.com.
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Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis
Posted: January 2011