International Stem Cell (ISCO.OB), Therapies for Diabetes and Liver Diseases
ISCO.OB together with ViaCyte (formerly Novocell), announced the successful derivation from its human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) of enriched cultures of definitive endoderm (DE).
- DE can be further developed into pancreas or liver cells;
- The results was published in Differentiation concludes that, “Creation of the definitive endoderm lineages from hpSC represents the critical first step toward the development of hpSC-based cellular therapies for diseases of the liver or pancreas.”
- The article also describes improvement in an earlier published differentiation protocol;
- This new method extends ISCO’s portfolio of intellectual property, demonstrating that the pre-treatment of undifferentiated cells by trichostatin A (TSA) significantly improves the efficacy of the differentiation procedure.
The Bottom Line: This work represents direct differentiation of hpSCs to cell populations of sufficient purity for their eventual production of commercially viable populations of endoderm lineage cells such as liver and pancreas. However, parthenogenetic stem cells have an additional benefit of superior immune-matching capabilities and don’t pose the same ethical questions associated with embryonic stem cells. These new results create a platform for the development by ISCO of therapeutic products that have potential to overcome the problem of rejection of transplanted cells by the patient’s own immune system.