International Stem Cell Corp. is focused on therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. The company yesterday voiced its favor of a recent announcement by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that shows the potential of parthenogenetic stem cells to treat genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease, beta thalassemia or tuberous sclerosis.
In a scientific paper entitled, “Gene therapy by allele selection in a mouse model of beta-thalassemia,” researchers describe how they used a mouse model of an inherited blood disorder that shows parthenogenesis may have the ability to create “genetically clean” stem cells.
“We at ISCO are particularly pleased to note this animal model research into the potential of parthenogenetic stem cells since ISCO has created method for creating immortal human parthenogenetic stem cell (hpSC) lines. We are constantly seeking ways to use such technology to treat human diseases, and this announcement is a positive indication showing the potential of parthenogenetic stem cells to treat certain types of autosomal dominant diseases such as particular forms of beta thalassemia or even Huntington’s disease,” Dr. Andrey Semechkin, CEO of ISCO stated in the press release. “We expect that the transition from animal models to human therapy using parthenogenetic cells will continue to evolve as ISCO continues to conduct its own therapeutic research and to collaborate with researchers across the world to discover new ways to use parthenogenesis and parthenogenetic stem cells to cure human disease. We have great hope that animal research such as that just reported will open new doors to human therapy and look forward to making our human parthenogentic lines available for such therapies.”
The paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by a team of researchers from the Center for Molecular and Human Genetics (Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH), the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina and the University of Minnesota led by John McLaughlin Ph.D.
“ISCO is actively conducting research on the creation and application of differentiated derivatives of hpSC for therapeutic use,” Dr Semechkin stated. “Specifically, ISCO has initiated a number of pre-clinical animal studies utilizing both hepatocytes and separately retina pigment epithelium cells, derived from hpSC. ISCO’s scientists were also the first to demonstrate the ability of hpSC to differentiate into neural cells and to develop approaches to obtain stable lines of parthenogenetic neural cells. These achievements open up the opportunity to assess the efficacy and safety of using parthenogenetic stem cells as a source to create neural cells for the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders. The work presented by Dr. McLaughlin once again confirms ISCO’s unique position in the field of stem cell based therapies.”
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