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Importance Of Histocompatible Human Stem Cell Banking By International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)

|Includes: International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)

The potential value of human stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine is a major focus of research. Stem cells have the critical ability to differentiate themselves into many kinds of cells, providing a unique and important source of tissues for treating wounds and diseases. However, cell recipients and sources need to have histocompatibility, so that any grafted tissue is not rejected by the recipient's immune system. The histocompatibility type of an individual is determined by various genes located in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus on chromosome 6. Cells that are compatible are called HLA Homozygous.

A recent paper has been published by a Geneva University Hospital team, led by Jean Villard, regarding HLA-homozygous stem cells being used as a bank, so that a limited number of lines could cover many individuals. The team reviewed available scientific literature, and provided multiple lines of evidence suggesting that the generation of HLA-homozygous pluripotent stem cell banks may be a way towards the sustainable development of regenerative medicine. The paper points out the advantageous effect of complete or partial HLA matching for graft survival, explaining that the matching process could be greatly facilitated by the use of HLA-homozygous stem cell lines.

The authors write: "All these results indicate that the number of cell lines needed in a pluripotent stem cell bank, which would provide matches for a majority of the population, could be drastically reduced if it contained homozygous lines" and conclude "The establishment of multiple regional banks, accounting for the variability of HLA haplotypes in different human populations, should be strongly considered to advance medical and research purposes."

International Stem Cell Corporation has been advocating such an approach ever since its inception in 2005. Its unique technology allows for the derivation of transplantation-compatible HLA-homozygous parthenogenetic stem cells, with one of their HLA-homozygous lines carrying the most common haplotype in the Caucasian population, present in 4% of the population.

For additional information on ISCO, visit the company's website at

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