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Novocell Reports Successful Use of Stem Cells to Generate Insulin in Mice
Date:2/20/2008

Results Demonstrate Potential Future Application of Stem Cells as a

Treatment for Diabetes

Findings published in Nature Biotechnology

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company, today announced data demonstrating for the first time that human embryonic stem (hES) cells can be turned into pancreatic cells capable of producing insulin in mice. The findings are reported in an article appearing on-line today, in advance of print publication, in the journal Nature Biotechnology. This research provides evidence supporting the potential future use of hES cells to replace insulin-producing pancreatic cells that are destroyed in people with Type 1 diabetes, requiring them to receive regular insulin treatment.

The findings build on two previously reported studies by Novocell (Nature Biotechnology 2005 and 2006), whereby Novocell scientists demonstrated a process that successfully engineers hES cells into specific cells necessary for pancreas formation, and endocrine cells capable of producing insulin and other pancreatic hormones.

In this new work, Novocell has demonstrated that implantation of hES-derived pancreatic cells into mice results in the generation of glucose-responsive insulin producing cells. These cells exhibit properties characteristic of functional adult pancreatic insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Most importantly, these hES-derived cells provide protection in an animal model of diabetes characterized by loss of pancreatic insulin producing cells.

"Our data provide the first compelling evidence that hES cells can serve as a renewable source of functional insulin producing cells for diabetes cell replacement therapies," said Emmanuel Baetge, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Novocell and senior author of the publication. "It also provides strong evidence that hES cell-derived endoderm cells are able to generate glucose-responsive in
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SOURCE Novocell, Inc.
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