Data from successful animal study using liver cells derived from human parthenogenetic stem cells to be presented at two upcoming scientific conferences
Company also announces collaboration with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for liver disease research, and completion of research on cytochrome P450 activity
International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO) (ISCO) announces successful completion of the first series of preclinical testing of hepatocytes derived in the lab from human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC). In the transplantation mouse model, inoculated cells were capable of engrafting and surviving in specific niches within the liver, and were further developing into cells with essential hepatocyte-like features. Moreover, the transplanted cells could be identified in recipient tissue for a prolonged period of time.
The findings of these studies will be presented at the annual meeting of American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, May 18-21 in Seattle, and at the International Society for Stem Cell Research annual conference, June 15-18 in Toronto.
"These results mark the achievement of a key milestone in our preclinical research," said Andrey Semechkin, Ph.D., ISCO's Chief Executive Officer. "Specifically, we have perfected the technique to transplant hepatocytes, an extremely fragile cell type, into the liver of animals, which is an easily injured organ. This preclinical research helps us develop our collaborations with clinics."
Nikolay Turovets, Ph.D., ISCO's Director of Research and Therapeutic Development commented "The next phase of research is to conduct experiments to demonstrate the ability of the transplanted cells to perform the vital functions of normal hepatocytes and, accordingly, their ability to modify disease by restoring the missing function of a patient's diseased liver."
The Company also announces the signing of a joint collaboration agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to conduct research to develop therapies for liver diseases, in particular urea cycle disorders. Jeffrey Fair, MD., a liver transplant surgeon and Director of Translational Research for the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and Department of Surgery, will lead the Cedars-Sinai research team.
Dr. Fair said, "Urea cycle disorders are genetic deficiencies of liver function, which mostly affect newborns and oftentimes cause catastrophic neurological injury. It has been shown that transplantation of donor hepatocytes can save patient lives. Therefore, derivation of hepatocytes from hpSCs that can be immune-matched to the patient is a very pressing goal."
The Company also announces the completion of research focused on the investigation of cytochrome P450 activity and corresponding genes in hepatocytes derived from hpSC. According to the results, the differentiation technology developed by ISCO allows the creation of hepatocytes in the fetal stage of development. This research may contribute to the design of a product for future drug testing and discovery.
About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation is 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 the 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 genders, ages and racial background. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™. 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 www.internationalstemcell.com.
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