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GEN News Highlights : Nov 19, 2009

Scripps Research Institute to Use ISCO’s Parthenogenetic Stem Cells

Understanding the genetic and epigenetic processes that control stem cells is the research goal.

International Stem Cell (ISCO) is collaborating with stem cell researcher Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D., and the Scripps Research Institute to study parthenogenetic stem cells and potentially therapeutic cells that can be derived from them. Dr. Loring will use the parthenogenetic cell lines in her quest to understand the genetic and epigenetic processes that control stem cells.

ISCO scientists have derived a type of cell found in the human eye from parthenogenetic stem cells that may have application in the treatment of a common eye disease called macular degeneration. Dr. Loring and ISCO will study these cells as part of the collaboration.

ISCO has developed a process for creating human stem cells from unfertilized human eggs. These parthenogenetic stem cells have the medical advantage of allowing immune-matching to large segments of the population and the ethical advantage of not requiring the use of human embryos, according to the company.

This study is a further expansion of ISCO’s mission to generate data necessary to understand these cells and move them closer to the clinic.