Spinal Confusion

...an attempt to clarify confusing and innacurate information in science articles

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Stem Cell Innovations Produces Human Pluripotent Stem Cells; Cells Eligible for Use in Government Funded Laboratories

This looks interesting.
Stem Cell Innovations Produces Human Pluripotent Stem Cells; Cells Eligible for Use in Government Funded Laboratories
3/29/2006 6:41:00 AM EST

Dr. James H. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Stem Cell Innovations, Inc. (OTCBB: SCLL), will present data today at the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells in Vancouver demonstrating that the Company has produced multiple lines of human pluripotent stem cells. Because these cells are derived from fetal tissue, not early embryos, they are eligible for use in laboratories funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Stem cells are cells that can produce additional stem cells as well as one or more other types of cells. Pluripotent stem cells can develop into most, if not all, of the tissues of the organism. To date, two types of mammalian stem cells have been shown to be truly pluripotent: the well-known embryonic stem cells (ES cells), which are cultured from very early embryos and are patented by the University of Wisconsin, and the lesser-known embryonic germ cells (EG cells), which are developed from fetal gonadal tissue. EG cells were originally developed by Dr. Brigid Hogan and have been patented and licensed exclusively to Amphioxus Cell Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, but have been used in only a few laboratories because of the difficult nature of their isolation and growth. While the widespread use of ES cells has been hampered by ethical issues and government funding limitations, Congressional legislation treats fetal tissue differently. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated that research involving the derivation and use of EG cells may be conducted with Federal support (http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/stemcell.pdf).

In his presentation at the Symposium, Dr. Kelly will present data demonstrating that Company scientists were able to overcome many of the problems inherent in the production of EG cells. First, the Company's cell lines are able to maintain their undifferentiated state and normal chromosome complement. Second, the Company is able to produce its cell lines without feeder layers (layers of foreign cells used as an environment to grow the stem cells which can complicate the process and result in contamination of the stem cells). Finally, the Company is able to efficiently develop multiple lines, the first step in creating banks of cells that can be matched to patients in cell therapies.