London, 12 March 2009 … Research announced today by Plasticell, a leading UK regenerative medicine biotech company, shows how embryonic stem cells can be used to discover novel small molecules capable of encouraging the body to regenerate, potentially paving the way for the development of drugs to repair organs damaged by disease or ageing.
Plasticell used its proprietary technologies to create a pharmaceutical screen for compounds capable of regenerating blood cells. The screen was validated using a panel of diverse small molecules, one of which was the compound SB247464, a drug which mimics Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF). The assay showed the regenerative drug was able dramatically to increase the number of blood phagocytes in vitro, even at the lowest concentrations tested.
Dr Yen Choo, CEO of Plasticell, said: “This data is very exciting, and heralds a new paradigm in the development of regenerative medicines, paving the way for new drugs that regenerate damaged organs and tissues. We demonstrate that CombiScreen™ is able to identify a small molecule that acts on progenitor cells to regenerate blood cells both in vitro and in animals. By developing similar assays to screen large compound libraries we believe it will be possible to discover and develop regenerative medicines to treat a variety of serious diseases affecting other tissues such as the brain or heart.”
The research was carried out in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and in particular with the team responsible for the development of Promacta® (Eltrombopag), the world’s first small molecule regenerative therapeutic.
Results from the collaboration will be presented today at the World Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Conference in London.