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Fate Therapeutics Announces Creation of Small Molecule Platform for Commercial Scale Reprogramming
Date:10/18/2009

cientific journal Nature Methods. As compared to using the four reprogramming factors of Oct 3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc alone, Dr. Ding discovered a combined chemical approach that dramatically improves (> 200 fold) the generation of iPSCs from human fibroblasts within two weeks of retroviral transduction. The iPSC colonies generated by the Ding team using a three compound cocktail could be stably expanded over the long term (20+ passages), closely resembled human embryonic stem cells in terms of morphology and pluripotency marker expression and could be differentiated into derivatives of all the three germ layers both in vitro and in vivo.

"Once we achieved reprogramming with cell penetrating proteins, we targeted certain biological pathways that might improve speed and efficiency so as to enable the commercial scale production of patient-specific iPSCs for medical use," said Dr. Ding, associate professor of TSRI and scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics. "When combined with non-viral, non-DNA based methods for iPSC generation, we believe these discoveries create a powerful platform for safer, more efficient reprogramming of human somatic cells."

Earlier this year, under a research collaboration with Fate Therapeutics and TSRI, Dr. Ding and his team of scientists became the first group to generate iPSCs using non-viral, non-DNA based reprogramming methods. Instead of inserting the reprogramming factors of Oct 3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc with DNA-based methods, such as viruses or plasmids, the scientists engineered and used recombinant proteins to reprogram cells without genetic modifications. The scientists found that those reprogrammed embryonic-like cells - dubbed "protein induced pluripotent stem cells" or "piPSCs" - from fibroblasts behave indistinguishably from classic embryonic stem cells in their molecular and functional features, including differentiation into various cell types, such as beating cardiac muscle cell
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SOURCE Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
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