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istaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) Announces Significant Progression in its Pancreatic Cell and Regenerative Medicine Programs

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy, just announced the publication of its original research demonstrating the use of pluripotent stem cells to generate insulin in mice. The studies are part of VistaGen’s Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube(NYSE:TM) platform which has proprietary applications in drug screening, cell therapy, and regenerative medicine in the areas of metabolic disease and diabetes.
The research, titled Pdx1 and Ngn3 Overexpression Enhances Pancreatic Differentiation of Mouse ES Cell-Derived Endoderm Population, originated from a collaboration between VistaGen and the laboratories of Dr. Gordon Keller at the University Health Network’s McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto and Dr. Atsushi Kubo at Nara Medical University in Japan. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE 6(9): e24058, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024058 on September 13, 2011.
Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, President and Chief Scientific Officer of VistaGen, stated, “In addition to presenting a powerful in vitro model system designed to screen for potential genes or drug candidates capable of inducing the production of insulin-secreting pancreatic beta-islet cells, these research results represent another important step towards our goal of developing superior biological systems for drug development. We are grateful for the scientific contributions of our international collaborators to the research reported in this publication, as well as the continuing technical progress we are making through our ongoing and active partnership with Dr. Gordon Keller and his laboratory in Toronto.”
VistaGen has a strong history of successfully advancing its internal commercially-focused research and development programs through collaborations that strategically combine the complementary capabilities of its industry leading scientists with academic leaders in the field of stem cell research. The published results are the consummation of a close and productive international collaboration initiated and led by VistaGen scientists.
The stem cell-derived pancreatic cells developed by the international research team demonstrated the ability to produce and correctly process insulin and secrete C-peptide, characteristics of mature beta-islet cells. In addition, these studies suggest a potential purification or enrichment strategy for beta-islet cell production, facilitating a strategy for the production of large numbers of beta-islet cells for multiple applications. They also point to additional areas for future development as well as provide a strong foundation that supports VistaGen’s efforts to produce fully functional human beta-islet cells for drug discovery and clinical applications.
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