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Novocell Awarded Patent for Innovative Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Patent Covers Groundbreaking Process for the Generation of Insulin-Producing Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells
San Diego, CA -- Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company, today announced that it has received U.S. Patent # 7,534,608 with method claims covering the Company’s innovative stem cell therapy for the production of functional pancreatic, insulin-producing cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES). Novocell’s therapy is being developed as a method for the use of hES cells to replace insulin-producing pancreatic cells that are destroyed in people with diabetes.
The patent claims are supported by landmark research by Novocell (Kroon et. Al. Pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem cells generates glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vivo Nature Biotechnology 26(4):443-52, 2008) demonstrating for the first time that hES cells can be turned into pancreatic cells capable of releasing insulin in response to glucose challenge in mice. Such cells exhibit properties characteristic of functional human adult pancreatic insulin-producing cells and provide protection in an animal model of diabetes characterized by loss of pancreatic insulin-producing cells.
"Novocell continues to build its patent position around its intellectual property for using stem cell therapies to treat diabetes," said Fred Middleton, Chairman of Novocell. "We are pleased the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is continuing to recognize the pioneering nature of Novocell’s stem cell research program as a novel approach to providing diabetes therapy."
"This important patent covers our methods employing hES cells as a renewable source of glucose-responsive, insulin-producing cells for diabetes cell replacement therapies," said Emmanuel Baetge, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Novocell. "This proprietary process provides a potential treatment option that could lead to the first widespread application of a cell replacement therapy for diabetes."
Novocell, Inc. is a stem cell engineering company with product development operations in San Diego, California and Athens, Georgia. Its core expertise is in efficient differentiation and encapsulation of human stem cells for therapeutic applications in diabetes. Its technology is expected to provide major advantages in patient treatment efficacy, safety, and manufacturing costs. These cells also provide a significant advantage for cell-based compound screening in drug discovery. The Company was founded in 1999 and merged with CyThera, Inc. and BresaGen, Inc. in 2004.
Novocell was the first to demonstrate that implantation of hES-derived pancreatic cells into mice results in the generation of glucose-responsive, insulin-producing cells. Such cells exhibit properties characteristic of functional human adult pancreatic insulin producing cells and provide protection in an animal model of diabetes characterized by loss of pancreatic insulin-producing cells. See our landmark publications in Nature Biotechnology: D’Amour et al. (2005), D’Amour et al. (2006) and Kroon et al. (2008).
For more information, please visit www.novocell.com.
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