Monday, 9 December 2013

ISCO announces major advance in iPSCs Technology

International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) issued a press release today announcing a significant advancement in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derivation with novel protein-based reprogramming method.

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 says that the TTF-iPSCs technology can produce stable stem cells, at least ten times more efficiently 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.

"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 iPSCs clinically. We are currently working towards shortening the cell reprogramming step from around six weeks to as little as one week." said Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, Chief Scientific Officer of ISCO.

iPSCs 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.


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