BioTime Inc, a biotechnology company that develops and markets products in the field of regenerative medicine, and its subsidiaries OrthoCyte Corporation and LifeMap Sciences reported today a means of manufacturing seven distinct types of cartilage, bone, and tendon cells from human embryonic stem cells. The paper, scheduled to be published online (ahead of print) at 1600 GMT today in the peer-reviewed journal Regenerative Medicine, characterizes the seven cell types generated using BioTime’s proprietary PureStem(TM) technology. The study compared the novel cells with adult stem cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and revealed properties of the new cell lines that are suggestive of a wide array of future applications in the practice of orthopedic medicine.
In the study published today, it was demonstrated that BioTime’s cells, which can be manufactured on an industrial scale, are progenitors to diverse skeletal tissues of the human body. These cell lines bear diverse molecular markers that distinguish them from each other and from MSCs. The molecular markers of BioTime’s cell lines suggest the lines may therefore be applicable to the repair of different types of bone, cartilage, and tendon for the treatment of degenerative diseases afflicting these tissue types such as non-healing bone fractures, osteoarthritis and degeneration of intervertebral discs, and tendon tears (tendinosis).
Chronic orthopedic disorders such as osteoarthritis, degeneration of the discs in the spine, osteoporosis, and tendon tears are among the leading complaints and causes of disability in an aging society. The recent isolation of new pluripotent stem cells such as human embryonic stem (hES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells opens the door to the manufacture of all of the cell types in the human body on an industrial scale. These achievements in the emerging field of regenerative medicine have made it feasible to introduce new modalities of repairing these and other tissues in the body.