California Stem Cell and Biofocus DPI to Collaborate in ALS Association-Funded Research Using Human Motor Neurons
News May 21, 2008
California Stem Cell, Inc. (CSC) will supply international drug discovery organization BioFocus DPI, the service division of Galapagos, with its MOTORPLATE™ 96 assay-ready well plates, containing motor neuron progenitors (MNPs) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC).
BioFocus DPI will use the high purity, clinical grade human motor neurons to perform assay development and screening for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) drug discovery on behalf of The ALS Association’s TREAT ALS™ drug discovery and clinical trials program.
“BioFocus DPI chose to source human motor neurons from CSC because its multi-well plate format enables us to develop specialized high-throughput assays not previously possible,” said Katherine Hilyard, PhD, Vice President of Biological Sciences, BioFocus DPI.
“This the first source of high purity human motor neurons available for use in high-content screening assays. This significant advancement allows us to develop innovative human cell-based assays for the discovery of drugs for ALS and other neurological disorders.”
The ALS Association’s TREAT ALS (Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS) program is funding this collaborative research project as part of its global initiative to speed the discovery of new drugs and therapies for ALS.
“The ALS Association is focused on accelerating new and promising developments from the laboratory bench into treatments for ALS,” said Lucie Bruijn, PhD, science director and vice president of The ALS Association. “The unique ability of CSC to generate human motor neurons on a large scale, and the target discovery engine provided by BioFocus DPI, will contribute to the development of medicines that may significantly slow the progression of this disease and ultimately lead to a cure.”