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.
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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