International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) and the Power of Parthenogenesis

When it comes to the evolving world of healthcare, there is no brighter light than stem cell technology. It’s a field that is seen as offering more creative potential for the curing and preventing of disease than could be imagined only a decade ago. The power of stem cell technology has always resided in its unique advantages over traditional approaches, based upon its ability to actually regenerate new and compatible cells. It opens the door to possibilities that simply don’t apply to other treatments.

Human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs), developed by International Stem Cell Corp., offer an unmatched combination of advantages that differentiates them from all other sources of stem cells. At the heart of this difference is the fact that parthenogenetic stem cells are sourced from unfertilized human eggs, created by chemically stimulating the ova to begin division. The eggs are not fertilized and no viable embryo is created or destroyed, totally sidestepping the controversy that is inherent with the use of human embryonic stem cells.

Because of the way they are generated, parthenogenetic stem cells also have a number of other advantages over conventional stem cell sources.

• Parthenogenetic stem cells have a duplicate set of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, which significantly reduces the possibility of the derived cells being rejected by a patient’s immune system. As a result, a single cell line can be suitable for the treatment of millions of people, and a relatively small number of such cell lines could provide “immune matched” cells to a significant percentage of the world’s population.

• Parthenogenetic stem cells do not face the regulatory scrutiny associated with standard induced pluripotent stem cells, which are differentiated cells that are chemically or otherwise driven back to earlier developmental stages involving modifications in gene expression that may have unknown biological impacts.

• Unlike adult stem cells, parthenogenetic stem cells are pluripotent and not as limited in their ability to differentiate or proliferate. They can be used to generate heart, liver, and all other kinds of cells, for use in treatment or research.

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