Technique for Creating Authentic Rat Embryonic Stem Cells
News Dec 31, 2008
Stem Cell Sciences plc has announced that pioneering research describing a technique for creating authentic embryonic stem (ES) cells from rats has been published in the journal Cell.
This publication is believed by the company, to be the first in which germ-line transmission from rat ES cells has been definitively demonstrated. It uses technology licensed exclusively to SCS from the University of Edinburgh and developed by Professor Austin Smith and his team, now at Cambridge University.
The technique is expected to allow the generation of consistently pure and stable rat ES cells, from which drug discovery assays as well as genetically modified animals can be created for academic, medical and pharmaceutical research.
According to Company, the main advantage afforded by this technology is that it allows the generation of both knock-out rat models, in which the effect of gene deletion is studied, as well as the generation of knock-in models, which involves the insertion of genes, perhaps human genes, in a precisely defined manner
Under the terms of its agreement with Edinburgh University, SCS has global exclusive rights to commercialize pluripotent rat stem cells, the specific culture medium used to generate and grow the cells, and rats derived therefrom.
Dr Alastair Riddell, Chief Executive Officer of Stem Cell Sciences, said “The impact of this new technique could be far-reaching in terms of opening the way to new and more effective drug discovery. Rat models are expected to be highly predictive of human responses to drugs, particularly in psychiatric, neurological and cardiovascular areas. With this new technique allowing researchers to knock-in human genes it will be possible to conduct drug metabolism and toxicology studies with even higher predictability in rats than ever before. We expect there to be considerable commercial interest from companies wanting to access this exciting technology.”