Today, International Stem Cell Corporation announced that it will collaborate with renowned stem cell researcher Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D. and the Scripps Research Institute (located in La Jolla, CA) to study parthenogenetic stem cells and their potentially derived therapeutic cells. The study expands the company’s mission to generate data necessary to understand these cells and move them closer to the clinic.
ISCO has perfected a process using unfertilized human eggs to creating human stem cells. These “parthenogenetic” stem cells allow immune-matching to large segments of the population. ISCO’s process allows the company to avoid the ethical debate regarding the use of human embryos.
Company scientists have derived a type of cell found in the human eye from parthenogenetic stem cells that may have application in the treatment of macular degeneration, a common eye disease. Dr. Loring and ISCO will study these cells as part of the collaboration.
According to Dr. Loring, “Parthenogenetic cell lines are uniquely valuable for our quest to understand the genetic and epigenetic processes that control stem cells. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with scientists at ISCO.”
Kenneth Aldrich, Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation, commented, “Collaborations with leading researchers such as Dr. Loring and leading research institutions such as Scripps Research Institute will bring us closer to ISCO’s goal of being able to provide immune-matched stem cells for human transplant and build a true stem cell bank that could offer on-demand delivery of stem cells matched to a patient’s own immune system. Our intent is to begin to provide these parthenogenetic stem cell lines to advance the field of regenerative medicine, as well as to commercialize our cells for cell transplant therapies.”