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Stemagen First to Create Cloned Human Embryos From Adult Cells
Date:1/17/2008

Major Advancement Towards Creating Patient-Specific and Disease-Specific

Stem Cells For Therapeutic Use

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Stemagen, a privately held embryonic stem cell research company, announced today it has become the first in the world to create, and meticulously document, a cloned human embryo using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).

Stemagen CEO Samuel H. Wood, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author of the publication and a donor of the cells from which the embryos were cloned, terms this achievement "a critical milestone in the development of patient-specific embryonic stem cells for human therapeutic use, potentially including developing treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases." Stemagen's research is exhaustively detailed in a paper published in today's issue of the highly regarded peer-reviewed scientific journal Stem Cells.

"This is not merely a technical improvement on previous research in this area," said Andrew French, Ph.D., lead author on the paper, "Development of Human Cloned Blastocysts Following Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) with Adult Fibroblasts."

"No other scientific group has documented the cloning of an adult human cell, much less been able to grow it to the blastocyst stage, the stage at which it is the adult donor cell that is driving embryonic development, the stage that yields the cells (the inner cell mass) from which embryonic stem cell lines are made," said French, who is Stemagen's Chief Scientific Officer.

Five blastocysts were developed from 25 donated mature oocytes. Three were confirmed to be clones based on DNA fingerprinting demonstrating the presence of the skin cell donor DNA in the blastocyst, while one was further confirmed to be a clone by an additional mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis which revealed the presence of oocyte donor mtDNA without any oocyte donor nuclear DNA. For technical reasons, the genetic
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SOURCE Stemagen Inc.
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