Tuesday, October 30, 2012

International Stem Cell Corp’s Lifeline Cell Technology Products to be added to Fisher Scientific’s Catalogs

CARLSBAD, Calif.—October 25, 2012 (MARKET WIRE)-- International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCQB: ISCO) (www.internationalstemcell.com) (“ISCO” or “the Company”) a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products, today announced that its subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology (LCT), will begin selling products through Fisher Scientific, Inc.’s (“Fisher Scientific”) online catalogue as an Encompass Preferred Supplier.

Typically large pharmaceutical companies buy research supplies and products using preferred supplier agreements. Fisher Scientific is the world’s largest such supplier to the life science industry with over 350,000 customers and $12 Billion in annual sales. Their third party e-catalog sales have grown from $26 million in 2006 to $424 million in 2011 and represent a promising new sales channel for Lifeline Cell Technology’s cell and media products.

Dr. Simon Craw, ISCO’s Executive Vice President of Business Development explained, “This is a tremendous opportunity and a testament to the high quality of Life Line Cell Technology’s products. By working with Fisher Scientific, LCT will be able to reach many more customers that we would otherwise not be able to reach. One of the biggest challenges we faced was the ability to sell into pharmaceutical companies that have preferred supplier agreements. Our inclusion in the Fisher e-catalogs and Encompass Preferred Suppliers list, not only validates LCT’s focus on delivering high quality products but also means these products can now be purchased much more easily by scientists working at the some of the world’s largest life science companies.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka

Today the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent"
Follow the link to read more  (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2012/)

In 1962, John Gurdon of Cambridge University showed that a new tadpole could be created by taking the genetic information (nucleus) from the intestine cell of an adult frog and implanting it into an unfertilized frog egg.  This led him to conclude that the intestine cell contains all the genetic information need to create a whole new frog, and that the process of specialization in cell development is reversible.  It was the first time in the world that this has been achieved and was considered no more than a scientific curiosity for many years.  However, this discovery would eventually lead to a technology called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), and is responsible for Dolly the sheep.

Over forty years later in 2006 Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University showed in a series of experiments on mice that adult mouse cells could be reprogrammed into stem cells by modifying the genetic information (gene) in those cells.  Rather than transferring the genetic information into an egg, like Gurdon, he altered the existing information in an adult cell, essentially reprogramming the cell.  These stem cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) and are an extremely important area of stem cell research.

International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) does not use either of these techniques, as both methods pose problems when the treatment of human diseases is the goal.  SCNT because it is essentially cloning which is immoral as well as illegal, and iPS because it involves considerable reprogramming of the cell's genes, leading to serious safety concerns.  ISCO uses a third method called parthenogenesis, which stimulates unfertilized human eggs chemically allowing them to start dividing.  The stem cells derived in this way are similar to embryonic stem cells, but avoid the ethical controversy associated with the destruction of a viable human embryo. ISCO is using these stem cells to develop treatments for Parkinson’s disease, inherited metabolic liver diseases and corneal blindness.