GERN - Cool company doing cool stuff.(Not A Stock Recommendation, do your own research)
Thursday September 1, 7:30 am ET
MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 1, 2005--Geron Corporation (Nasdaq:GERN - News) announced today the publication of studies showing that cardiomyocytes differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) engraft when transplanted into the rat heart. The results provide proof of concept that transplanted hESC-derived cardiomyocytes survive and retain properties of cardiomyocytes, important for their use in the treatment of heart failure and myocardial infarction.
In the studies reported in the American Journal of Pathology, Dr. Charles Murry and his colleagues at the University of Washington, in collaboration with scientists at Geron Corporation, produced cardiomyocytes from hESCs and injected the cells into the left ventricular wall of normal healthy rats. The transplant was examined one and four weeks after injection and human cells were detected in the rat myocardium at both timepoints. At the four week timepoint, the grafted human cardiomyocytes were identified using characteristic markers including sarcomeric actin, alpha and beta-myosin heavy chain, and myosin light chain 2v. Approximately 10% of the cardiomyocytes at the four week timepoint retained proliferative capacity, thereby potentially enhancing engraftment. Both host and graft derived angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) was observed, critical to sustaining the viability of the graft. No evidence of tumor formation was seen.
"The successful engraftment of the hESC-derived cardiomyocytes provides evidence for the feasibility of using these cells in myocardial repair," stated Jane S. Lebkowski, Ph.D., Geron's senior vice president of regenerative medicine. "We are currently transplanting these cells in acute and chronic infarct animal models."