International Stem Cell Corporation announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted ISCO patent number 7,732,202, the first of several pending patents relating to its development of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC). Human parthenogenetic stem cells are a new type of pluripotent stem cell that allows immune matching to potentially solve critical immune rejection problems, and does not involve the ethical issues that surround the use of fertilized human embryos.
Although ISCO's creation of human parthenogenetic stem cells was first announced in a peer review publication in 2007, the formal allowance of claims by the USPTO will greatly advance the field of regenerative medicine by allowing ISCO to share its knowledge of these hpSC lines more freely with researchers in the US and around the world through partnerships, joint ventures, funded research and licensing arrangements.
The patent protects ISCO's technology platform, allowing the creation of hpSC from unfertilized eggs, exhibiting similar qualities and pluripotency as embryonic stem cells, with the added ability to be immune-matched to the donor, as illustrated in published peer-reviewed articles. Additional discoveries, also previously published in a peer reviewed journal and the subject of pending ISCO patents, illustrate the creation of 'homozygous' hpSC that can be immune matched to millions of persons of differing sexes and racial backgrounds, rather than only to the donor or her family, raising the potential of eventually creating a universal source of stem cells that could benefit most the of the world's population.
Researchers across the world work with ISCO to study different therapeutic applications of hpSC. Through previously announced collaborative arrangements, ISCO's scientists are working with major universities and private research organizations to study hpSC to treat liver disease, diabetes, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), corneal blindness and various neural degenerative diseases. In one such research collaboration, internationally-recognized stem cell researcher Hans Keirstead, PhD, at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center (University of California, Irvine), recently published a paper, referring to his use of embryonic stem cells and ISCO's hpSC in work focused on the derivation of early retinal progenitor tissue.
Andrey Semechkin, PhD, CEO of ISCO said, “Other than parthenogenetic stem cells, the three most commonly used and described types of stem cells are human embryonic stem cells (hESC), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and adult stem cells, such as those derived from cord blood, adipose tissue or bone marrow. Parthenogenetic stem cells have unique advantages over each of these other cell types, and we anticipate that since our core patent has been issued, we can now accelerate the adoption of our hpSC lines by researchers in the US and throughout the world.”
“International Stem Cell Corporation is particularly proud of these accomplishments because we have been funded thus far entirely by investors, without NIH or other governmental aid,” said Jeffrey Janus, Senior Vice President of ISCO. “However, once it is generally recognized that parthenogenetic cells have similar characteristics of embryonic stem cells and offer the potential to solve critical immune rejection issues - while not requiring the destruction of viable human embryos - we expect these cells to be increasingly used in government funded research to study ways of reducing human suffering and treating intractable human diseases.”
About International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO.OB)
International Stem Cell Corporation (intlstemcell.com) is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. More information is available at ISCO's website.
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