CARLSBAD, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2013) - International Stem Cell Corporation (
ISCO's biologists have developed a fundamentally new method that both successfully enhances the efficiency of the reprogramming process using specific proteins called transducible transcription factors (TTF) and avoids the use of viruses. ISCO has now shown that this TTF-iPS technology can produce stable stem cells, is at least ten times more efficient that older methods, while simultaneously avoiding the risks associated with traditional methods based on viruses. In addition, the TTFs are naturally eliminated when no longer required, a characteristic that further improves safety.
Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, Chief Scientific Officer for ISCO, comments: "This new method offers a much needed safer and more efficient alternative to older techniques and represents a major step forward in being able to use iPS clinically. We are currently working towards shortening the cell reprogramming step from around six weeks to as little as one week."
iPS cells are made by genetically reprogramming mature cells, usually taken from the skin, and can be used to create new cells of a different type. The original reprogramming methods, using viruses to modify the cells genes, risks the inclusion of genetic material from the virus into the cells. Additionally, these viral methods are extremely inefficient and can only produce very limited quantities of cells.
About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) 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) hence avoiding ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation. hpSCs offer 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 (www.lifelinecelltech.com), and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care (www.lifelineskincare.com). More information is available at www.internationalstemcell.com.
ISCO's lead indication is Parkinson's disease. The Parkinson's disease program uses human parthenogenetic neural stem cells (hPNSC) a novel therapeutic cellular product derived from the company's proprietary histocompatible human pluripotent stem cells. hPNSC are self-renewing mulitpotent cells that are precursors for the major cells of the central nervous system. The ability of hPNSC to (i) differentiate into dopaminergic (DA) neurons and (ii) express neurotrophic factors such as glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to protect the nigrostriatal system, offers a new opportunity for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, especially in cases where current small molecule approaches fail to adequately control the symptoms.
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