BioTime to acquire Singapore-based company, ES Cell International

March 10, 2016

Regenerative medicine refers to the development and use of therapies based on human embryonic stem (hES) cell or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. These therapies will be designed to regenerate tissues afflicted by degenerative diseases. The great scientific and public interest in regenerative medicine lies in the potential of hES and iPS cells to become all of the cell types of the human body. Many scientists therefore believe that hES and iPS cells have considerable potential as sources of new therapies for a host of currently incurable diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart failure, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, hearing loss, liver failure, and many other disorders where cells and tissues become dysfunctional and need to be replaced.

Since human embryonic stem cells are derived from discarded human embryos created in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), their use in research has been controversial. However, induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells can be created using noncontroversial adult cells, such as skin cells, rather than embryonic cells. The alteration of specific genes in adult cells allows them to be transformed into iPS cells that are very similar to hES. BioTime's stem cell-based product development is in the preclinical stages and will require years of extensive testing prior to being used in an effort to treat humans.

Source: BioTime, Inc.