ReNeuron Announces Publication Of New Research Using Rencell(R) Stem Cell Products

Guildford, UK, 2 October 2009: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) announces the recent publication of new research using its ReNcell® neural stem cell products. These human cell lines and supporting products are marketed through US-based Millipore Corporation for academic and commercial research.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California have developed a safe strategy for reprogramming cells to a pluripotent state without the use of the potentially harmful viral delivery mechanisms or genomic insertions that were necessary in earlier cell reprogramming studies conducted elsewhere. In the study, researchers were able to reprogramme ReNeuron’s ReNcell®VM cell line using a single factor to generate stable human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), similar to human embryonic stem cells with the ability to differentiate into any type of cell in the body. The current excitement surrounding iPS cells lies in their potential to circumvent the need to extract such pluripotent stem cells from the early human embryo, as is the case with human embryonic stem cells.

The research paper describes the ReNcell®VM cell line used in the study as representing a reliable, homogenous and commercially available tool to dissect the individual factors required for cell reprogramming, and a potentially better standard model for fundamental cell reprogramming studies than human primary fibroblasts, a cell type typically used in this type of research. Moreover, the paper describes the reprogramming strategy used in the study, due to its lack of viral or transgene interference with the cells, as representing a safe way to generate iPS cells for potential clinical use as well as basic research.

The research, led by UCSD Stem Cell Program researcher Alysson Muotri, PhD, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego and UCSD’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, was published in the on-line journal, PLoS One in September (Marchetto, M.C.N. et al. (2009) PLoS ONE 4(9), e7076).

Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said: "This latest publication is a clear example of how ReNeuron's ReNcell® lines can be successfully used at the very cutting edge of stem cell research. In this study, the ReNcell®VM cell line was proven to be efficient in generating stable iPS cells at a significantly higher frequency than that obtained using human primary fibroblasts. Furthermore, the study showed for the first time that the iPS cells generated carried a transcriptional "signature" of the original ReNcell® donor cells, raising interesting questions as to what effects, if any, this “memory retention” might have. “We are delighted to work with Millipore to make these valuable stem cell research tools available to the scientific community."

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