International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) is making changes to its license agreements with Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) that grant ISCO access to a range of ACT's patents and patent applications for the use of various technologies in a limited set of human tissues. The amendments extend ISCO's existing rights in the area of parthenogenesis and the therapeutic use of parthenogenetically derived stem cells for treating any human diseases. ISCO now has an exclusive worldwide license to ACT's patents and applications covering the uses of parthenogenetically derived stem cells in generating human tissue.
Parthenogenesis utilizes unfertilized human eggs to create parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC) that reportedly can be immune-matched to persons of differing sexes and racial backgrounds. According to ISCO, a relatively small number of hpSC lines could provide sufficient immune-matched cells to cover large parts of the world’s population.
The two companies first entered into these license agreements in 2004; they were also amended in 2005.
"We're excited to have extended our portfolio of intellectual property, which not only allows us to develop new therapeutic and business opportunities, but also makes the possibility of partnering with big pharma practical," commented Andrey Semechkin, Ph.D., CEO and co-chairman of ISCO.
ISCO's IP porfolio is expanding in other directions as well. In September, the USPTO granted the company a patent for a method of creating pure populations of definitive endoderm—precursor cells to liver and pancreas cells—from human pluripotent stem cells. ISCO says that the patent is a key element of its metabolic liver disease program as well as an addition to its portfolio of technologies relating to the development of potential treatments for incurable diseases using human parthenogenetic stem cells.