Researchers from South Korea, Sweden, and the United States have collaborated on a project to restore neuron function to parts of the brain damaged by Huntington’s disease (HD) by successfully transplanting HD-induced pluripotent stem cells into animal models.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be genetically engineered from human somatic cells such as skin, and can be used to model numerous human diseases. They may also serve as sources of transplantable cells that can be used in novel cell therapies. In the latter case, the patient provides a sample of his or her own skin to the laboratory.
In the current
South Korea’s government drug agency cleared the way Thursday for commercial sales of what it called the world’s first approved medicine using stem cells collected from other people.
Cartistem, developed by Seoul-based Medipost, will help regenerate knee cartilage using stem cells developed from newborns’ umbilical cord blood, the Korea Food and Drug Administration said.
“Cartistem is… the world’s first approved allogeneic (taken from different individuals of the same species) stem cell drug, that can offer new opportunity for treatment of patients with degenerative arthritis,” the administration said in a statement.
Medipost said 27 billion won ($23.8 million) from private investors and government
And now there are three: in the wake of announcements from laboratories in Oregon and California that they had created human embryos by cloning cells of living people, a lab in New York announced on Monday that it had done that and more.
In addition to cloning the cells of a woman with diabetes, producing embryos and stem cells that are her perfect genetic matches, scientists got the stem cells to differentiate into cells able to secrete insulin.
That raised hopes for realizing a long-held dream of stem cell research, namely, creating patient-specific replacement cells for people with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease,
Image by erjkprunczyk via Flickr
After the decision of the United States to remove the ban preventing stem cell researchers from using public funding for experiments, legislators in South Korea have been put under pressure by scientists who have been aspiring to do experiments on stem cells from cloned human embryos.
Up until a few weeks ago the National Bioethics Committee continued to postpone a decision on the matter, but now thanks to the American president, it is increasingly probable that at most, by the end of April, researchers of the Cha Medical Institute of Seoul will be able to resume
For the first time, cloning technologies have been used to generate stem cells that are genetically matched to adult patients.
Fear not: No legitimate scientist is in the business of cloning humans. But cloned embryos can be used as a source for stem cells that match a patient and can produce any cell type in that person (…)
“This is a dream that we’ve had for 15 years or so in the stem cell field,” said John Gearhart, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Gearhart first proposed this approach for patient-specific stem cell generation in