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Category Archives: Stem Cell Therapy

Patrick Cox’s Breakthrough Technology Alert: International Stem Cell Corp. Progressing Despite Incompetent MSM


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October 11, 2011
International Stem Cell Corp. Progressing Despite Incompetent MSM
Dear Breakthrough Technology Alert Reader,
"American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant."
Last week, an article by Rob Stein appeared in The Washington Post titled "Scientists Report Possibly Crucial Advance in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research." Stein, whose credentials include science editor positions at NPR and The Washington Post, describes the use of cloning techniques to turn oocytes, immature eggs, into embryonic cells. The first one-sentence paragraph is as follows:
"Scientists reported Wednesday that for the first time, they had used cloning techniques to generate embryonic stem cells containing the genes of specific patients."
Frankly, I don't know what that sentence means. Somatic cloning of stem cells has been going on for years at places such as the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the University of California San Francisco. It's not a particularly difficult thing to transfer adult DNA into an embryonic stem cell. Maybe the researchers said that it was the first time that "they" had used cloning techniques to make ESCs and the writer misinterpreted their statements. I have no idea.
Moreover, that sentence includes the word "patients." There were no patients involved in the study. It was a laboratory demonstration of a cloning technique in which DNA from mature cells is transferred into immature eggs, oocytes. Then, the oocytes transformed into stem cells with the implanted genes. The interesting thing about the procedure, which you can access here, is that the DNA from a normal cell, from two parents, was added to a cell with only a mother's genes.
This resulted in a cell with the DNA of three people -- a triploid cell. While fascinating, it also raises all kinds of scientific and safety issues. We have no idea what triploid cells would actually do if they were implanted in a patient. With extra haploid matching points, they might even be immunocompatible with no one.
I do, however, have a great script idea if somebody with money would like to hear the pitch. I'm thinking Species meets Mommie Dearest. Regardless, the possibility that triploid cells will be therapeutically useful in the foreseeable future is very low.
This brings me to the real flaw in the story. Read the second sentence/paragraph:
"The step marks a possibly pivotal advance toward the long-sought goal of creating stem cells that could be used to treat many major diseases, because they would not be rejected by patients' immune systems."
Balderdash. There are at least two solutions already available for dealing with immune rejection -- induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and human parthenogenic stem cells (hpSCs).
The iPS cell technology uses an individual's own cells to create cells that are functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells. These would be compatible with the donor. The other solution is the human parthenogenic stem cells developed by International Stem Cell Corp. (OTCBB:ISCO). These, scientists believe, will solve the immune rejection problem on a mass-market basis.
ISCO long ago demonstrated that they have made the "pivotal advance" using oocytes, to which the Post article refers. ISCO scientists discovered and patented the techniques that successfully create human parthenogenic stem cells (hpSCs), which can be programmed to become any other cell type. With ISCO's cell banks, which will match the various HLA profiles of the human species, the immune rejection problem will be solved for the vast majority of the human race.
You will recall from my recent issue about ISCO that the company has already begun collecting oocytes to create these parthenogenic cells lines. It does so with complete approval of regulatory and ethical agencies.
As you know, it took ISCO many years and millions of dollars to accomplish their technological breakthrough. Interestingly, it had previously been done, apparently in an accidental and nonreproducible manner. Stem cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang of Seoul University announced in 2004 that he had produced a stem cell line derived from an embryonic human clone. Later, it was discovered that Hwang did not have a cloned stem cell line. He had a parthenogenic stem cell line.
Though Hwang was disgraced, the irony is that cloned stem cell lines are far easier to produce than hpSC lines. I don't understand all the details about what he did, wrong or right. The irony is this, however: If he had presented his stem cells as hpSCs, he might have been acclaimed a scientific hero, instead of the super-villain he is considered today.
The Washington Post article goes on to cite the usual stem cell controversies. Those opposed to ESC research have voiced opposition to the triploid stem cell technology when asked. They believe the triploid cells are embryonic stem cells. Since they are, in a sense, fertilized, that may be true. It's not at all clear, though, that they could develop into an embryo. I doubt it.
Also, the fact that some fertility therapy patients were paid well for oocytes unneeded in the fertilization process has caused serious concern among feminist commentators. They are seriously concerned. Seriously.
The big point, however, is that this article badly misrepresents the state of the science. ISCO scientists have long had the ability to create pluripotent stem cells using oocytes. More to the point, cells made using their process have none of the ethical issues of these triploid cells. They are not fertilized and cannot become embryos. They require no genetic manipulation. No foreign DNA is inserted into them. The company does not pay for oocytes and has followed every ethical guideline acquiring them.
The Wall Street Journal apparently picked up on the "breakthrough" story and helped spread the disinformation, as did other news outlets and bloggers. I'm not, per se, a journalist, but if I were writing for a nationally read publication that purports to present science accurately, I would have started by checking around to see if there were other perspectives on stem cells from parthenogenic oocytes.
In fact, I did a simple Google search using key words "parthenogenic" (or "parthenogenetic"), "stem" and "cell." The first page yielded this link to ISCO's description of their human technology.
Then, looking around the site, we find a list of respected scientific partners who are assisting in further research on ISCO's hpSCs, as well as some of their research areas.
They include:
Novocell Inc., San Diego, Calif., endocrine pancreas cells.
University of California, San Francisco, Calif., hepatocyte cells.
University of California, Irvine, Calif., retinal pigment epithelium.
University of Wurzburg, Germany, neuronal cells.
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., characterization of human parthenogenetic stem cells.
None of these organizations is inaccessible. You can find their phone numbers on the innerwebz, and it has been my experience that scientists are more than happy to tell journalists what's really going on. Oh, well.
Having spent so much time in debunking mode, now I feel like I ought to at least bring you up-to-date on some new developments at ISCO. Several important events have, in fact, occurred lately.
ISCO to Expand Cosmeceutical Product Lines
One, ISCO has been perfecting the process of growing and preserving the active ingredient in parthenogenic stem cells used for their cosmeceutical skin care product line. As a result, they've been able to stockpile enough of the growth factors found in stem cells to allow additional marketing efforts. In the past, availability of product has limited those efforts.
Moreover, the company has announced development of several new skin care products, including one designed to work on the sunken area under the eyes. The skin care line, while not cosmically meaningful, is doing very well for the company and is on track to fund serious work, such as ISCO's liver cell science.
Also, ISCO has brought in an experienced corporate executive to help move the company forward. Dr. Andrey Semechkin, currently CEO, will become co-chairman. Kurt May, currently senior vice president, will take the helm as president and CEO.
From the press release:
"Prior to joining ISCO, Mr. May was a senior executive with GTE Corp. and with PriceSmart Inc., and the founder and CEO of a privately owned biotech company, Psynomics, based on medical technology derived from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. May served as a faculty member and assistant dean of UCSD's Rady School of Management from 2005-09.
"During his tenure as PriceSmart's chief operating officer, Mr. May led the company from startup to growth over three years that included establishing 22 stores in 11 countries, reaching annual revenues of more than $500 million, achieving profitability and expanding staff from 356 to more than 4,200.
"'In addition to its therapeutic programs, ISCO is dedicated to building its revenue-generating subsidiaries to high levels of profitability. We view Mr. May's commercial and entrepreneurial skills as an essential part of our business plan for success,' said Kenneth Aldrich, co-founder and co-chairman of ISCO."
Yours for transformational profits,
Patrick Cox
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©2011 Agora Financial, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This Newsletter may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web) , in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Agora Financial, LLC. 808 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202.
Wurzburg, Germany, neuronal cells.
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., characterization of human parthenogenetic stem cells.
None of these organizations is inaccessible. You can find their phone numbers on the innerwebz, and it has been my experience that scientists are more than happy to tell journalists what's really going on. Oh, well.
Having spent so much time in debunking mode, now I feel like I ought to at least bring you up-to-date on some new developments at ISCO. Several important events have, in fact, occurred lately.
ISCO to Expand Cosmeceutical Product Lines
One, ISCO has been perfecting the process of growing and preserving the active ingredient in parthenogenic stem cells used for their cosmeceutical skin care product line. As a result, they've been able to stockpile enough of the growth factors found in stem cells to allow additional marketing efforts. In the past, availability of product has limited those efforts.
Moreover, the company has announced development of several new skin care products, including one designed to work on the sunken area under the eyes. The skin care line, while not cosmically meaningful, is doing very well for the company and is on track to fund serious work, such as ISCO's liver cell science.
Also, ISCO has brought in an experienced corporate executive to help move the company forward. Dr. Andrey Semechkin, currently CEO, will become co-chairman. Kurt May, currently senior vice president, will take the helm as president and CEO.
From the press release:
"Prior to joining ISCO, Mr. May was a senior executive with GTE Corp. and with PriceSmart Inc., and the founder and CEO of a privately owned biotech company, Psynomics, based on medical technology derived from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. May served as a faculty member and assistant dean of UCSD's Rady School of Management from 2005-09.
"During his tenure as PriceSmart's chief operating officer, Mr. May led the company from startup to growth over three years that included establishing 22 stores in 11 countries, reaching annual revenues of more than $500 million, achieving profitability and expanding staff from 356 to more than 4,200.
"'In addition to its therapeutic programs, ISCO is dedicated to building its revenue-generating subsidiaries to high levels of profitability. We view Mr. May's commercial and entrepreneurial skills as an essential part of our business plan for success,' said Kenneth Aldrich, co-founder and co-chairman of ISCO."
Yours for transformational profits,
Patrick Cox 
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Nothing in this e-mail should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice.
We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended in this letter should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

©2011 Agora Financial, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This Newsletter may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web) , in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Agora Financial, LLC. 808 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202.

Source:
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Posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells | Comments Off on Patrick Cox’s Breakthrough Technology Alert: International Stem Cell Corp. Progressing Despite Incompetent MSM

Patrick Cox's Breakthrough Technology Alert: International Stem Cell Corp. Progressing Despite Incompetent MSM

Posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells | Comments Off on Patrick Cox's Breakthrough Technology Alert: International Stem Cell Corp. Progressing Despite Incompetent MSM

International Stem Cell’s Research Scientists Successfully Completed the First Series of Preclinical Animal Trials of Neuronal Cells

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB: ISCO) announces today successful completion of the first series of preclinical studies designed to support the safety and utility of neuronal cells derived from human parthenogenetic stem cell line (hpSC). These initial experiments, demonstrating that the derived neuronal cells were able to survive in mice brains without giving rise to tumors, represent a key milestone towards possible therapeutic applications including treating Parkinson's disease.


Dr. Albrecht Müller, Professor at the Institute of Medical Radiology and Cell Research, Würzburg University (Germany), commented: "Human parthenogenetic stem cells are potentially very promising candidates for use in regenerative medicine primarily because of the possibility that they immune-match a large number of recipients. The result of these safety and survival studies is a very important step along the path towards the clinical use of such cells."


Although most cases of Parkinson's disease occur in people with no family history of the disease, a number of genetic mutations have nevertheless been identified with the disease. While the inheritance pattern is largely unknown, as a condition with a genetic component "autologous" treatment, that is to say treatment using the patient's own cells, is far from ideal and does not offer the potential of a cure. To treat Parkinson's disease successfully a source of cells free of the mutated genes is necessary. Human parthenogenetic stem cells provide this source, as well as superior immune-matching capabilities.


ISCO currently has the world's largest collection of human parthenogenetic stem cells including heterozygous examples, where the cells immune match the donor as is the case with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and homozygous examples which immune-match millions of individuals. ISCO is actively expanding this collection of cell lines and creating a "bank" of homozygous human parthenogenetic stem cells that can be used as a platform to not only reduce the chances of tissue rejection, but also make cellular-based therapies economically more viable.


Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, ISCO's Vice President, commented: "One of ISCO's main therapeutic targets is treatment of Parkinson's disease, a common neurodegenerative disease in the US, where the current standard of care is designed mostly to treat the symptoms, but not the disease. These results clearly represent an important step towards the therapeutic application of human parthenogenetic stem cells derived cells in addressing the basic underlying mechanisms and potentially transforming the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."


About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells 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). 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 genders, ages and racial background. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCellTM. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at http://www.internationalstemcell.com 


To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications, please click on the following link:http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1468&to=ea&s=0.


Forward-looking Statements
Statements pertaining to anticipated developments, research and development goals and related potential therapeutic treatments, the potential benefits of products, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward- looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products and the management of collaborations, regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements.


International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, co -Chairman
760-940-6383
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com

Or:
Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, Vice President
760-940-6383
ras@intlstemcell.com
Or:
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Don Markley
310-691-7100
dmarkley@lhai.com

Source:
http://intlstemcell.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells | Comments Off on International Stem Cell’s Research Scientists Successfully Completed the First Series of Preclinical Animal Trials of Neuronal Cells

International Stem Cell's Research Scientists Successfully Completed the First Series of Preclinical Animal Trials of Neuronal Cells

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB: ISCO) announces today successful completion of the first series of preclinical studies designed to support the safety and utility of neuronal cells derived from human parthenogenetic stem cell line (hpSC). These initial experiments, demonstrating that the derived neuronal cells were able to survive in mice brains without giving rise to tumors, represent a key milestone towards possible therapeutic applications including treating Parkinson's disease.


Dr. Albrecht Müller, Professor at the Institute of Medical Radiology and Cell Research, Würzburg University (Germany), commented: "Human parthenogenetic stem cells are potentially very promising candidates for use in regenerative medicine primarily because of the possibility that they immune-match a large number of recipients. The result of these safety and survival studies is a very important step along the path towards the clinical use of such cells."


Although most cases of Parkinson's disease occur in people with no family history of the disease, a number of genetic mutations have nevertheless been identified with the disease. While the inheritance pattern is largely unknown, as a condition with a genetic component "autologous" treatment, that is to say treatment using the patient's own cells, is far from ideal and does not offer the potential of a cure. To treat Parkinson's disease successfully a source of cells free of the mutated genes is necessary. Human parthenogenetic stem cells provide this source, as well as superior immune-matching capabilities.


ISCO currently has the world's largest collection of human parthenogenetic stem cells including heterozygous examples, where the cells immune match the donor as is the case with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and homozygous examples which immune-match millions of individuals. ISCO is actively expanding this collection of cell lines and creating a "bank" of homozygous human parthenogenetic stem cells that can be used as a platform to not only reduce the chances of tissue rejection, but also make cellular-based therapies economically more viable.


Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, ISCO's Vice President, commented: "One of ISCO's main therapeutic targets is treatment of Parkinson's disease, a common neurodegenerative disease in the US, where the current standard of care is designed mostly to treat the symptoms, but not the disease. These results clearly represent an important step towards the therapeutic application of human parthenogenetic stem cells derived cells in addressing the basic underlying mechanisms and potentially transforming the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."


About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells 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). 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 genders, ages and racial background. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCellTM. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at http://www.internationalstemcell.com 


To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications, please click on the following link:http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1468&to=ea&s=0.


Forward-looking Statements
Statements pertaining to anticipated developments, research and development goals and related potential therapeutic treatments, the potential benefits of products, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward- looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products and the management of collaborations, regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements.


International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, co -Chairman
760-940-6383
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com

Or:
Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, Vice President
760-940-6383
ras@intlstemcell.com
Or:
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Don Markley
310-691-7100
dmarkley@lhai.com

Source:
http://intlstemcell.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells | Comments Off on International Stem Cell's Research Scientists Successfully Completed the First Series of Preclinical Animal Trials of Neuronal Cells

International Stem Cell Corporation’s Ken Aldrich Comments on Recent News about SCNT – Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Last week's newspapers carried the news of what was widely described as a significant “breakthrough” in stem cell science: the first successful human use of a technology known as Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (also referred to as SCNT).  This is essentially a variation on a process that was used some years ago to create a cloned sheep named Dolly.  Cloning has since been used commercially in various animal applications.
What is strange about the flurry of publicity about this discovery, however, is the almost total lack of commentary about a method of creating stem cells that has been available to researchers for almost half a decade, holds the same kind of promise as embryonic stem cells for providing cells for the treatment of almost any kind of degenerative disease, is free of ethical issues (including issues with egg donation), and can potentially make immune matched cells available to any patient anywhere in the world, on demand, at a far lower cost.
I am talking about human stem cells derived from a process called, “Parthenogenesis”, developed and first announced in 2007 by a company called International Stem Cell Corporation, whose discoveries were first published in the peer reviewed journal, Cloning and Stem Cells, edited by the scientist who first created “Dolly”, the first cloned animal. 
I realize that I could be accused of bias because I am one of the founders of International Stem Cell, but, in fact, our company also owns license rights to some of the key intellectual property that is required to create cells through SCNT technology and our scientists are very familiar with its promise and its limitations. As a result, International Stem Cell will benefit from the development of either technology, but it is important that the public and the scientific community be fully aware of all alternatives in the field of regenerative medicine, not just the ones that capture public imagination at any particular time.
For that reason, I would like to comment on Parthenogenesis and compare it to SCNT technology and the other options available today. The technology known as "Parthenogenesis" begins with human eggs that are created and used every day throughout the world for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). What is not generally known is that the IVF process can often result in the creation of far more unfertilized eggs than will ever be needed for fertility purposes. It is possible, with informed consent from the IVF patient, to hold back some unfertilized eggs for creation of parthenogenetic stem cells, all at no additional risk to the donor. 
Instead of wasting those eggs, what International Stem Cell does, with the full consent of the donors, is to save those eggs from the trash bin, induce them through a simple, but patented, process to create the small cluster of cells from which a stem cell line can be created that can be used for scientific research and the eventual treatment of patients with such diseases as Parkinson’s, Macular Degeneration, Liver Disease, Diabetes, and possibly many others.
What are critical to understand in thinking about Parthenogenetic stem cells are six things:
Like embryonic stem cells and SCNT cells, these cells can be converted into almost any cell in the human body and thus have enormous potential for human therapy.

Unlike embryonic stem cells, the human eggs used to create parthenogenetic stem cells are never fertilized and cannot become a human being. No viable embryo is ever harmed or destroyed.
Unlike SCNT cells, parthenogenetic stem cells require no genetic manipulation or insertion of foreign DNA.
No donor is every subjected to any additional physical risk beyond what she has already agreed to as part of the IVF procedure in which she elected to participate. In fact, all egg donors voluntarily participate through a very transparent, peer-reviewed, and medically supervised process.  Protocols are approved by Independent Review Boards (IRBs) to protect the safety of donors and by an independent Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) committee to insure compliance with state laws and research ethics, regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections, in addition to state-level requirements.

The cell lines that are produced from this method, unlike cell lines from embryonic stem cells or from SCNT, can potentially be matched to millions of people in the same way that an organ transplant is matched between donor and patient. In fact, by some estimates, as few as 100 parthenogenetic stem cell lines could provide immune-matched cells to over 50 percent of the world’s population, and could accelerate disease therapies and treatments for severe chronic conditions, including diabetes, spinal cord injuries, liver diseases, blinding diseases such as macular degeneration, and neural diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The possibility of immune-matching to millions of persons can vastly reduce the potential costs relative to SCNT or embryonic stem cell technology, which create stem cell lines that can match only a few persons.
In summary, what we find particularly exciting about Parthenogenesis is that it addresses all the major issues of stem cell therapy. It is free from the traditional bioethical issues that have clouded federal policies towards stem cell research because parthenotes are derived from unfertilized eggs and cannot develop into human beings.  Parthenogenesis is not cloning, and it does not involve the creation or destruction of a viable human life.  Also, the creation of a parthenogenetic stem cell bank will not require a large number of human eggs and many individual donors, as has been a fear surrounding other stem cell approaches.  Parthenogenesis is at once effective and efficient, and one line of parthenogenetic stem cells can be used to create treatments for millions of persons.  This is not a situation where one line must be made for each patient treated.
To learn more about Parthenogenesis, visit http://www.internationalstemcell.com, or click on ISCO.OB at any financial web site for information about our company.

Source:
http://intlstemcell.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells | Comments Off on International Stem Cell Corporation’s Ken Aldrich Comments on Recent News about SCNT – Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

International Stem Cell Corporation's Ken Aldrich Comments on Recent News about SCNT – Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Last week's newspapers carried the news of what was widely described as a significant “breakthrough” in stem cell science: the first successful human use of a technology known as Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (also referred to as SCNT).  This is essentially a variation on a process that was used some years ago to create a cloned sheep named Dolly.  Cloning has since been used commercially in various animal applications.
What is strange about the flurry of publicity about this discovery, however, is the almost total lack of commentary about a method of creating stem cells that has been available to researchers for almost half a decade, holds the same kind of promise as embryonic stem cells for providing cells for the treatment of almost any kind of degenerative disease, is free of ethical issues (including issues with egg donation), and can potentially make immune matched cells available to any patient anywhere in the world, on demand, at a far lower cost.
I am talking about human stem cells derived from a process called, “Parthenogenesis”, developed and first announced in 2007 by a company called International Stem Cell Corporation, whose discoveries were first published in the peer reviewed journal, Cloning and Stem Cells, edited by the scientist who first created “Dolly”, the first cloned animal. 
I realize that I could be accused of bias because I am one of the founders of International Stem Cell, but, in fact, our company also owns license rights to some of the key intellectual property that is required to create cells through SCNT technology and our scientists are very familiar with its promise and its limitations. As a result, International Stem Cell will benefit from the development of either technology, but it is important that the public and the scientific community be fully aware of all alternatives in the field of regenerative medicine, not just the ones that capture public imagination at any particular time.
For that reason, I would like to comment on Parthenogenesis and compare it to SCNT technology and the other options available today. The technology known as "Parthenogenesis" begins with human eggs that are created and used every day throughout the world for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). What is not generally known is that the IVF process can often result in the creation of far more unfertilized eggs than will ever be needed for fertility purposes. It is possible, with informed consent from the IVF patient, to hold back some unfertilized eggs for creation of parthenogenetic stem cells, all at no additional risk to the donor. 
Instead of wasting those eggs, what International Stem Cell does, with the full consent of the donors, is to save those eggs from the trash bin, induce them through a simple, but patented, process to create the small cluster of cells from which a stem cell line can be created that can be used for scientific research and the eventual treatment of patients with such diseases as Parkinson’s, Macular Degeneration, Liver Disease, Diabetes, and possibly many others.
What are critical to understand in thinking about Parthenogenetic stem cells are six things:
Like embryonic stem cells and SCNT cells, these cells can be converted into almost any cell in the human body and thus have enormous potential for human therapy.

Unlike embryonic stem cells, the human eggs used to create parthenogenetic stem cells are never fertilized and cannot become a human being. No viable embryo is ever harmed or destroyed.
Unlike SCNT cells, parthenogenetic stem cells require no genetic manipulation or insertion of foreign DNA.
No donor is every subjected to any additional physical risk beyond what she has already agreed to as part of the IVF procedure in which she elected to participate. In fact, all egg donors voluntarily participate through a very transparent, peer-reviewed, and medically supervised process.  Protocols are approved by Independent Review Boards (IRBs) to protect the safety of donors and by an independent Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) committee to insure compliance with state laws and research ethics, regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections, in addition to state-level requirements.

The cell lines that are produced from this method, unlike cell lines from embryonic stem cells or from SCNT, can potentially be matched to millions of people in the same way that an organ transplant is matched between donor and patient. In fact, by some estimates, as few as 100 parthenogenetic stem cell lines could provide immune-matched cells to over 50 percent of the world’s population, and could accelerate disease therapies and treatments for severe chronic conditions, including diabetes, spinal cord injuries, liver diseases, blinding diseases such as macular degeneration, and neural diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The possibility of immune-matching to millions of persons can vastly reduce the potential costs relative to SCNT or embryonic stem cell technology, which create stem cell lines that can match only a few persons.
In summary, what we find particularly exciting about Parthenogenesis is that it addresses all the major issues of stem cell therapy. It is free from the traditional bioethical issues that have clouded federal policies towards stem cell research because parthenotes are derived from unfertilized eggs and cannot develop into human beings.  Parthenogenesis is not cloning, and it does not involve the creation or destruction of a viable human life.  Also, the creation of a parthenogenetic stem cell bank will not require a large number of human eggs and many individual donors, as has been a fear surrounding other stem cell approaches.  Parthenogenesis is at once effective and efficient, and one line of parthenogenetic stem cells can be used to create treatments for millions of persons.  This is not a situation where one line must be made for each patient treated.
To learn more about Parthenogenesis, visit http://www.internationalstemcell.com, or click on ISCO.OB at any financial web site for information about our company.

Source:
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