Cellular Engineering Technologies and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute Report New Approach to Create Safer and Non-Controversial Pluripotent Stem Cells

Cellular Engineering Technologies, a Coralville, Iowa biotechnology company, and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, an Iowa City, Iowa based non-profit organization have announced a new milestone to create safer and non-controversial pluripotent stem cells.

The organizations were founded by Dr. Alan Moy, affiliated faculty member in biomedical engineering; CEO, Cellular Engineering Technologies, Inc., and Scientific Director of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute; and President of Pulmonary Associates.

The organizations presented their research findings in this month’s issue of Future Science Open Access in a manuscript entitled “Efficient Method to Create Integration-Free, Virus-Free, and Myc and Lin28-Free Human IPS Cells From Adherent Cells. “ Their novel method for the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC), which are ethically noncontroversial since they are adult stem cells created by genetically reprogramming adult cells into embryonic like stem cells, is significant in that it reduces the potential risk associated with transplantation of these cells for clinical studies.

While IPSC do not require the need for the destruction of a human embryo, prior technologies to create IPSC have required c-Myc and Lin28, oncogenes or cancer-causing genes that genetically reprogram adult cells into pluripotent stem cells.  These specific oncogenes are the major determinants of IPSC in causing tumors when transplanted into mice. The new approach described in the manuscript uses additional chemicals that replace the need to use these specific oncogenes. This novel and exciting approach opens a pathway for creating safer IPSC-based cell therapies and satisfies an important regulatory pathway to bring regenerative medicine to treat many unmet medical needs that include neurodegenerative diseases, rare diseases, cancer and common chronic diseases.  Co-authors of the article included scientists from the University of Iowa, Western New England University and the University of Pittsburgh. The technology also offers solutions in advancing personalized medicine, drug discovery, gene therapy, bio-banking and protein manufacturing.

Dr. Alan Moy