Monday, 4 February 2013

ISCC announces promising preclinical results for Parkinson

A few hours ago, the International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCC) announced positive results on its preclinical stem cell study for Parkinson's. The main goal of the study was to test the safety and efficacy of neuronal cells for treating Parkinson's in a rodent model. These neuronal cells are derived from human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs), which in turn are derived from unfertilised human eggs.

Human parthenogenetic stem cells are a proprietary technology of ISCC, first introduced on June 26, 2007. In this study, ISCC's researchers used the 6-OHDA lesioned rat model, a commonly used animal model for testing and developing new drugs for Parkinson's. The rats were given a single injection of neuronal cells, derived from human parthenogenetic stem cells, into the brain's striatum. The press release states that all rats survived the procedure and showed significant improvement in their motor functions.

Global burden of Parkinson's disease, per 100.000 inhabitants in 2004 (click to enlarge)

According to the press release, the company's neuronal cells are cryo-preservable and have the capacity to both differentiate into dopaminergic neurons and release trophic factors that in turn may have a beneficial impact on the original neurons affected by Parkinson's.

Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, ISCC's vice president, said that their pre-clinical results are very promising and they will be thoroughly presented sometime during the end of March 2013, along with the results of another non-human primate study.

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company. Their research is  focused on the therapeutic applications of hpSCs and the development and commercialisation of cell-based research and cosmetic products. 

Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman and co-founder of ISCC talking about the company

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Parkinson's symptoms greatly vary from patient to patient and are also dependant on the stage of the condition. The disease usually manifests during the ages between 50 and 60, getting progressively worse as time passes by. Some common symptoms of Parkinson include:
  • Shaking
  • Rigidity
  • Slowness of movement 
  • Difficulty with walking and gait.

- The press release is available on the company's official site, click here to read it

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