CARLSBAD, Calif., Aug. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCQB:ISCO) (www.internationalstemcell.com) ("ISCO" or "the Company"), a California-based clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel stem cell-based therapies and biomedical products, announced today that ISCO’s Research and Development team has developed novel methods that efficiently generate human 3D liver-like tissue.
According to the American Liver Foundation, approximately 17,000 patients are on the U.S. liver transplant waiting list with only 6,000 liver transplants performed each year. While liver transplantation is a practical treatment option for these candidates, increasing waiting times for organ transplantation has led to the deaths of nearly 17% of those who were on the waiting list. But, ISCO is working to provide a viable 3D printable treatment option, which has the potential to significantly reduce wait times for many of these patients.
The 3D liver structures themselves are produced from human pluripotent stem cell derived-liver progenitor cells (hpLPC). As these cells differentiate in 3D culture, they form liver-like tissue that consists of hepatocytes, choangiocytes, and hepatic stellate cells. The 3D liver tissue can be maintained in culture for more than one month, with stable albumin, transthyretin, alpha-1 antitrypsin, and metabolic P450 (CYP3A4, CYP1A2) enzyme protein expression levels that are typically found in mature human liver tissue.
The hpLPC can be derived from any kind of pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic, induced pluripotent, or parthenogenetic stem cells, via ISCO's proprietary highly efficient and scalable differentiation method. This opens wide opportunities for licensing the technology for use in drug development and potentially as therapeutic tissue for the treatment of liver disease.
"Such realistic 3D representations like the one we’ve developed will be invaluable for the future study of the abnormalities in liver diseases, as well as testing the efficacy of certain drug therapies," commented Russell Kern, PhD., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of ISCO. “For us, the next phase will involve testing the structures in rodents to see whether or not they will engraft and start functioning like a real liver,” he continued.
About Liver Disease
The liver works to actively remove toxins and other impurities from the blood through a unique filtering system. The liver is also an important site for converting food to energy and storing fat-soluble vitamins like D and E. Liver disease typically develops when the liver’s ability to perform these metabolic functions is compromised.
Currently, there are no alternatives available for patients in need of a liver transplant other than to join the waiting list. Cirrhosis is the end stage in patients who have chronic progressive liver disease. According to Allied Market Research, the liver disease treatment market will be over $19 billion in 2022.
About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation. hpSCs offer the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCellâ„¢. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology (www.lifelinecelltech.com), and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care (www.lifelineskincare.com). More information is available at www.internationalstemcell.com.
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International Stem Cell Corporation
Russell Kern, PhD
Executive Vice President, CSO