Pfizer said Sunday that it was buying the rights to a somewhat controversial cell therapy from Athersys, a biotechnology company — a sign of big pharmaceutical companies’ growing interest in stem cells (…)
The relatively small payment reflects that “it’s really early for cell therapy and there’s more research to be done,” said Ruth McKernan, chief scientific officer of Pfizer Regenerative Medicine, a unit created by the company about 18 months ago to develop treatments based on stem cells (…)
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A process that prompts a single gene to generate millions of supercharged stem cells, which can then turn into any kind of cell a body needs to repair itself, has been patented at the University of Central Florida.
Stem cells have long been regarded as a holy grail of sorts in the medical world, because they hold so much potential for treating and perhaps curing some of the most challenging diseases in our time, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes.
But a limited supply of stem cells and ethical issues associated with cells from embryonic donors have stalled
The prospect of treating genetic diseases with corrected stem cells grown from patients’ own bodies has moved closer, after the results of a remarkable experiment.
Scientists have successfully reprogrammed skin tissue from people with a rare form of anaemia to create powerful stem cells, while at the same time rectifying the genetic defect that causes the condition.
The corrected stem cells could be grown into blood precursor cells for therapy. As these would carry a patient’s own DNA, except for the mutation responsible for the illness, they could be transplanted without risk of rejection by the body’s immune system.
Though the research
British regulators have given Moorfields approval to begin trials using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
Twelve patients with Stargardt’s disease will have the cells injected into the eye. You can read more about the trial here.
Although there is great excitement about the trial, Julia knows that the initial phase will simply check safety (…)
“It would be marvellous if I could get some of my sight-loss reversed”, said Julia. “Even if it simply halts the deterioration, that would be great. And the real benefit would be for children. It could mean they don’t need to lose any
Using two distinct methods, Whitehead Institute researchers have successfully and consistently manipulated targeted genes in both human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state).
In one case, scientists employed proteins known as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to change a single base pair in the genome, allowing them either to insert or remove mutations known to cause early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). The second method relies on proteins called transcription activator like effector nucleases (TALENs) capable of altering specific genes with similar efficiency and precision as ZFNs.