ISCO opens new facility for stem cell products
9 February 2010
International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), has opened its new production facility that will enable development and manufacturing of the company's and its partners’ clinical-grade stem cell products.
ISCO has designed and built a unique cell manufacturing facility in Oceanside, California consisting of separate “suites” for development and production of different cell types from the company’s proprietary human parthenogenic stem cell (hpSC) technology. The facility is located in close proximity to the fertility clinics that provide donated human eggs (oocytes) under ISCO’s recently-established partnerships and also near leading Californian research institutions with whom ISCO collaborates on fundamental stem cell biology and therapeutic applications.
ISCO will implement its parthenogenic stem cell processes at this facility during 2010 and adopt current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) standards. In parallel, ISCO will collaborate with world-leading scientists to demonstrate the therapeutic applicability and the potential immune-rejection advantages of hpSC lines relative to other stem cell classes.
Like embryonic stem cells (ESCs), hpSCs are pluripotent (ie have the capacity to become almost any cell type in the body), yet avoid ethical issues associated with destruction or use of viable human embryos. Unlike induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSs), hpSCs do not require manipulation of gene expression back to a less differentiated stage, which may prove to be a safety or regulatory obstacle. However, unlike both ESCs and iPSs, hpSCs can be created in a homozygous form such that each line can be an immunological match for millions of patients.
Dr. Andrey Semechkin, ISCO’s CEO, says: “Our ability to work in this modern facility gives International Stem Cell Corporation the capacity to generate the world’s first cGMP quality hpSC lines. It marks an important milestone since it both expands the resources available to our scientists and expands ISCO’s ability to execute on its plan to become the premier provider of immune-matched stem cells to the global research community. Through these cells, ISCO will be able to treat a range of degenerative diseases in genetically diverse populations around the world.”