Saturday, May 23, 2009

Novocell Awarded Patent for Innovative Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes

Patent Covers Groundbreaking Process for the Generation of Insulin-Producing Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells

@ The 2009 BIO International Convention

Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company, today announced that it has received U.S. Patent # 7,534,608 with method claims covering the Company’s innovative stem cell therapy for the production of functional pancreatic, insulin-producing cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES). Novocell’s therapy is being developed as a method for the use of hES cells to replace insulin-producing pancreatic cells that are destroyed in people with diabetes.

The patent claims are supported by landmark research by Novocell (Kroon et. Al. Pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem cells generates glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vivo Nature Biotechnology 26(4):443-52, 2008) demonstrating for the first time that hES cells can be turned into pancreatic cells capable of releasing insulin in response to glucose challenge in mice. Such cells exhibit properties characteristic of functional human adult pancreatic insulin-producing cells and provide protection in an animal model of diabetes characterized by loss of pancreatic insulin-producing cells.

“Novocell continues to build its patent position around its intellectual property for using stem cell therapies to treat diabetes,” said Fred Middleton, Chairman of Novocell. “We are pleased the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is continuing to recognize the pioneering nature of Novocell’s stem cell research program as a novel approach to providing diabetes therapy.”

“This important patent covers our methods employing hES cells as a renewable source of glucose-responsive, insulin-producing cells for diabetes cell replacement therapies,” said Emmanuel Baetge, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Novocell. “This proprietary process provides a potential treatment option that could lead to the first widespread application of a cell replacement therapy for diabetes.”

Source: 19 May 2009

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