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Stem Cell reprogramming technology iPSC by Fate Therapeutics gets US patent

Monday, February 8, 2010, 12:53 This news item was posted in Biotech, Pharma category and has 0 Comments so far.

A new technology to reprogramme human cells into various cells developed by Fate Therapeutics has been granted patent in US.

The patent for “Methods for Reprogramming Somatic Cells” will cover foundational induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology for identifying agents that enable the reprogramming of human somatic cells, including pluripotency genes, small molecules and biologics, according to a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for U.S. Patent Application Number 10/997,146.

The new invention is believed to be the earliest art that describes broad methods and key agents to reprogram human somatic cells to a pluripotent state.

Rudolf Jaenisch, M.D., founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics submitted the application on November 26, 2003 and  Fate Therapeutics holds an exclusive license to the application in commercial fields, including for drug discovery and therapeutic purposes.

In this 2003 application (20080280362), Dr. Jaenisch first describes the potential to generate human pluripotent cells from somatic cells without using embryos, oocytes and/or nuclear transfer technology and how reprogrammed somatic cells can enable autologous cell therapy, including the treatment, prevention or stabilization of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS.

The new technology also covers compositions used in screening for agents to generate these pluripotent cells and further describes specific agents that can be used to reprogram human somatic cells, including certain genes, classes of small molecules and pluripotency proteins.

“Dr. Jaenisch’s prescient vision in 2003 for creating human iPSCs and how reprogrammed cells could be used to revolutionize drug discovery and enable cell-based therapies is truly unparalleled,” said Paul Grayson, president and CEO of Fate Therapeutics.

This first invention provides protectable compositions for identifying pluripotency genes, small molecules and proteins for cellular reprogramming.

The generation of iPSCs is crucial to the development of an industrialized iPSC technology platform where panels of disease-specific phenotypes can be studied for targeted drug discovery, he added.

Fate Therapeutics also holds an exclusive license to other inventions of Dr. Jaenisch relating to iPSC technology including PCT/US2008/004516 with a priority date of April 7, 2007, which describes the reprogramming of human somatic cells using one or more pluripotency factors, including Oct3/4, Sox2 and/or Klf4, and combinations.

Because iPSCs have been shown to behave similarly to embryonic stem cells with the ability to differentiate into various cell types, such as cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, neurons and pancreatic cells, and can be created from any adult somatic cell, like a skin cell, iPSC technology has significant commercial and medical value.

For example, iPSCs can be used to assess drug toxicity across diverse genetic backgrounds, enable the development of disease model systems for basic research and drug discovery and may ultimately result in personalized cell therapies.

Fate Therapeutics is using iPSCs to recreate adult stem cell niche environments for the discovery of “stem cell modulator” compounds that act in vivo for therapeutic benefit.

Fate Therapeutics has also exclusively in-licensed from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) a portfolio of inventions by Sheng Ding, Ph.D., associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute and a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics.

In April of last year, under a research collaboration with Fate Therapeutics and TSRI, Dr. Ding and his team of scientists became the first group to publish research demonstrating completely non-viral, non-genetic reprogramming methods by using cell penetrating proteins.

Dr. Ding also created novel small molecule conditions to generate iPSCs in a manner that is 200 times more efficient than, and twice as fast as, conventional methods for reprogramming adult human cells.

The protein-based reprogramming breakthrough was honored as the Top Technology of 2009 by The Scientist, and Fate’s iPSC technology received the 2009 North American Technology Innovation Award from Frost & Sullivan.

Headquartered in San Diego, CA.Fate Therapeutics is working on adult stem cell biology and applying induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to develop Stem Cell Modulators (SCMs), small molecule or biologic compounds that guide cell fate for therapeutic purposes.

Fate’s iPSC technology platform incorporates the most advanced viral, small molecule and protein reprogramming methods, and offers a highly efficient, minimally invasive system to recapitulate human physiology for commercial-scale drug discovery and therapeutic use.

The Company’s approach has broad therapeutic potential in areas such as regenerative medicine, hematological diseases, metastatic cancer, traumatic injury and degenerative diseases.

Fate Therapeutics is currently conducting a Phase 1b clinical trial of FT1050, a small molecule SCM designed to increase hematopoietic stem cell number and function in dual umbilical cord blood transplant recipients with hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma.

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