Printer Friendly

ACT's Joint Venture SCRMI Reports in Prestigious Scientific Journal that Embryonic Stem Cells are a Potentially Unlimited Source of Functional Platelets for Transfusion.

Ideal candidate for early clinical trials involving iPS cells

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB:ACTC) reported that its hemangioblast-based technology can be used to generate functional platelets from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The research, which appears online (published-ahead-of- print) in Cell Research a Nature Group journal by scientists at ACT's joint venture "Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine International" (SCRMI) and colleagues at Harvard Medical School, Cha University, and the University of Illinois, shows that it is feasible to generate functional megakaryocytes and platelets from hESCs on a large scale. The hESC-platelets displayed features that were indistinguishable from those of normal blood platelets, and participated in clot formation and retraction in vitro. High-speed video microscopy showed that the platelets contributed to thrombi after vascular injury in mice, providing the first evidence for in vivo functionality of hESC-derived platelets.

Platelets play a critical role in stimulating clot formation and repair of vascular injury. However, due to their short storage time, there is constant demand for this life-saving blood component. Low platelet levels can occur in patients for a variety of reasons, including trauma, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or organ transplant surgery. To circumvent risks associated with these conditions, platelet transfusions have become a mainstay therapy; yet high demand and limited shelf life have created a constant shortage in transfusion supplies. The ability to generate HLA-matched platelets in vitro would provide significant advantages over currently used donor-dependent programs.

"Unlike other sources of platelets," said Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at ACT, and senior author of the study. "Human embryonic stem cells can be propagated indefinitely, providing a potentially unlimited and donorless source of cells for therapeutic purposes. This study shows that platelets can be produced from ES cells on a clinically relevant scale, and that they're functional upon transfusion into a living animal. The platelets displayed all of the structural and morphological criteria typical of blood platelets, and possessed characteristic properties of functional platelets such as activation by thrombin and formation of clots. Amazingly, they're even biconcave-shaped disks just like the real thing. Importantly, we demonstrated the platelets incorporated into thrombi (blood clots) in living mice in a manner similar to that observed for normal blood platelets. These results represent an important step towards generating an unlimited supply of platelets for transfusion. Since platelets contain no genetic material and can be irradiated before use they're ideal candidates for early clinical translation involving iPS cells."

High clinical demand for donated platelets has stimulated interest in generating renewable sources of transfusable platelets. This paper reports a method that is amenable to large scale production efforts. "The system is exponentially more efficient in generating megakaryocytes than previous methods," stated Shi-Jiang Lu, Ph.D., Senior Director of Stem International and co-senior author of the paper. "We have reduced dependence on animal serum and stroma, thus making the process more amenable to clinical translation. Thrombus formation in vivo is a rapid and highly dynamic process. It involves a large number of signaling pathways, enzymatic cascades, and the interplay of various protein components. By inducing natural platelet thrombus formation at the site of vascular injury in as little as 5-20 seconds, this system enabled us to monitor the real-time incorporation of the platelets into newly forming thrombi before they could be cleared from the microcirculation. We found that the hESC-derived platelets, like normal human blood platelets, incorporated into the developing mouse platelet thrombus through a platelet-specific mechanism."

"More research is clearly needed before this technology can advance into the clinic," stated Gary Rabin, Interim CEO and Chairman of ACT. "However, once this technology is perfected, we believe pluripotent stem cells both embryonic and iPS cells will play an important role in developing a renewable, donorless source of transfusable platelets."

Other researchers on the paper include Jaehyung Cho (co-senior author) and Eunsil Hahm from the University of Illinois at Chicago; Feng Li, Hong Yin, Qiang Feng, Erin Kimbrel, and Wei Wang from Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine International (SCRMI); and Jonathan Thon and Joseph Italiano at Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Click here for a free copy of the paper:

About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.

Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 11, 2011
Previous Article:Accounting and Consulting Firms Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC and ERE, LLP Join Forces.
Next Article:Hanesbrands Celebrates First Graduating Class of Honduras Employees in Company's Continuing Education Program.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters