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Stem Cell Biotech Licensing Blood Vessel Repair Technology

Induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells reprogrammed from human skin (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

6 April 2016. Cellular Dynamics International, a developer of regenerative treatments from stem cells, is licensing university research that repairs blood vessels in people with peripheral artery disease. Financial aspects of the deal between Indiana University and Cellular Dynamics, a subsidiary of FujiFilm in Madison, Wisconsin, were not disclosed.

Cellular Dynamics designs and generates induced pluripotent stem cells, derived from live human tissue samples, cultured in the lab, and then reprogrammed with DNA molecules to transform into the desired human cells for clinical applications. The company provides specific cell types — heart, blood vessel, liver, and neurons — for drug discovery, toxicity testing, and simulation.

In addition, Cellular Dynamics, a spin-off enterprise from University of Wisconsin, provides a customized stem cell service for patients to grow their donated samples. The induced pluripotent stem cells, says the company, can transform into some 200 human cell types for an individual patient without the risk of rejection caused by donated tissue.

The company is licensing technology developed in the lab of Mervin Yoder, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Indiana University’s medical school in Indianapolis. Yoder’s lab devised techniques with induced pluripotent stem cells to repair blood vessels damaged from peripheral artery disease. This disorder results from plaque building up and narrowing arteries, reducing the flow of blood to tissues, particularly in the legs. Smoking and age are key risk factors for peripheral artery disease causing pain and numbness in affected areas, and gangrene from infection in advanced cases, leading to amputation.

The technology developed by Yoder and colleagues transform induced pluripotent stem cells into endothelial colony forming cells, similar to cells found in umbilical cord blood, a rich source for regenerating blood vessels. In tests with lab mice, Yoder’s team found endothelial colony forming cells derived from stem cells could rescue and repair blood vessel damage in limbs affected by low blood flow similar to peripheral artery disease.

In addition, the Indiana lab’s techniques quickly and efficiently produce high volumes of regenerating cells, which can be delivered in a gel material with injections, or produced for transplantation in new blood vessels with three-dimensional bioprinting.

“About eight to 12 million Americans and 27 million people in Europe and North America are affected by peripheral arterial disease,” says Yoder in a university statement. “The technology licensed to Cellular Dynamics International may be useful to restore the delivery of blood and avoid amputation.”

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