MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. ("ACT"; OTC Bulletin Board: ACTC) announced today that the company's Chief Scientific Officer, Robert Lanza, MD, and Kwang-Soo Kim, PhD, of Harvard University and McLean Hospital, have won a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Opportunity Award for research in "Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments" under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The NIH Award provides McLean Hospital and ACT's joint venture with CHA Biotech, Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine International (SCRMI), $1.9 million to explore the potential of protein-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as a source of universal red blood cells and platelets for transfusion.
The research, which will include a team led by Shi-Jiang Lu, PhD, MPH, Senior Director at SCRMI, aims to establish and characterize clinically viable iPS cells from healthy O Rh-negative (O-) subjects by direct delivery of reprogramming proteins without the use of viruses or foreign-DNA and to explore the potential of iPSC's as a source of universal red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets for transfusion. The limited supply of RBC and platelets is a serious medical issue that can have potentially life-threatening consequences, especially for patients where multiple transfusions are necessary. The low prevalence of O negative 'universal donor' blood type in the general population (<8% in Western countries and <1% in Asia) further intensifies the consequences of blood shortages for emergency situations where blood supply and typing is limited.
Human iPS cells offer the possibility to generate a non-controversial source of patient-specific stem cells without destruction of embryos. However, current iPS cells suffer from major drawbacks that may cause unpredictable genetic dysfunc
|SOURCE Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.|
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