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Chemicon and SCS Launch Stem Cell Producing Medium

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Stem Cell Sciences and Chemicon have announced the launch of a complete, defined medium that is designed to enable the large-scale, consistent production of mouse ES cells. The announcement closely follows the formation of an exclusive agreement completed last year between the two companies.

The launch aims to contribute to the wider adoption of stem cells within the global drug discovery market, as the ability to maintain and expand murine embryonic stem (ES) cells in culture is an important research tool.

For the generation of genetically modified mice, ES cells must be cultured extensively in order to introduce and select for the desired genetic modification before they are introduced into blastocysts.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chemicon will exclusively market the licensed ESGRO Complete Clonal Grade Medium for serum-free, feeder-free expansion of mouse ES cells.

Chemicon plan to release other media and reagents needed for routine mouse ES cell culture that have been engineered and validated for use in this serum-free system.

Chemicon said that the ESGRO Complete product line intended to broaden it's offering within the stem cell culture market and would complement the current portfolio of reagents and technologies that are already being supplied to customers.

"The ESGRO Complete product line is a great leap forward over the existing methodologies used by our customers today," said Jeffrey Linton, President of Chemicon and Upstate, which comprise Serologicals Research Segment.

"This is a culmination of our earlier agreement with Stem Cell Sciences to commercialise this technology through our Research Segment, and is yet another example of how Serologicals is a leading company in the stem cell research arena."

During the culture period, the ES cells must remain pluripotent if they are to contribute to the development of all tissues in a mouse.

Traditionally, the culturing of murine ES cells has involved the use of primary mouse embryonic fibroblast (PMEF) feeder layers as a source of in vitro factors that are known to help inhibit ES cell differentiation.

ESGRO is a cell culture reagent that is designed to replace the need for PMEF feeder layers or medium conditioned by various other cell types. ESGRO contains the active cytokine, recombinant murine Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (mLIF), at an optimised concentration and activity.

When used in culture, mLIF acts to inhibit spontaneous differentiation and therefore maintains the pluripotent phenotype of murine ES cells.

Many ES cell types can be maintained on ESGRO alone without the need for feeder layers. For other ES cell types that require being cultured upon a PMEF feeder layer, the addition of ESGRO assists in the maintenance of the undifferentiated phenotype.