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Technique for Creating Authentic Rat Embryonic Stem Cells Published in Cell
Date:12/29/2008

is that it allows the generation of both knock-out rat models, in which the effect of gene deletion is studied, as well as the generation of knock-in models, which involves the insertion of genes, perhaps human genes, in a precisely defined manner. For example, in the case of knock-out models, a lack of response or different response profile to drugs compared with non-engineered animals can provide information on drug efficacy. Alternatively, the insertion of genes such as those involved in drug metabolism in the human liver means that knock-in models can provide information on drug safety & metabolism. Under the terms of its agreement with Edinburgh University, SCS has global exclusive rights to commercialise pluripotent rat stem cells, the specific culture medium used to generate and grow the cells, and rats derived therefrom.

Dr Alastair Riddell, Chief Executive Officer of Stem Cell Sciences, said, "The impact of this new technique could be far-reaching in terms of opening the way to new and more effective drug discovery. Rat models are expected to be highly predictive of human responses to drugs, particularly for in psychiatric, neurological and cardiovascular areas. With this new technique allowing researchers to knock-in human genes it will be possible to conduct drug metabolism and toxicology studies with even higher predictability in rats than ever before. We expect there to be considerable commercial interest from companies wanting to access this exciting technology."

Reference

(1.) Buehr et al., Capture of Authentic Embryonic Stem Cells from Rat Blastocysts, Cell (2008), doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.12.007

About Stem Cell Sciences plc

Stem Cell Sciences (SCS) is an international research and development company focusing on the commercial application of stem cell biology technologies for drug discovery and regenerative medicine research. Stem Cell Science
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