Research: New method to
produce iPS cells reported
Derrick Rossi, PhD, a researcher at the Immune Disease Institute/Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Children's, has developed an RNA-based technology to produce induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that is safer and faster than current virus-based methods, and could become a central enabling technology in regenerative medicine.
The study, published in Cell Stem Cell in early September, reports overcoming three major drawbacks in iPS cells produced using traditional approaches and techniques. Standard virus-based programming poses a risk of introducing mutations that could trigger cancers, and only a fraction of the cells treated actually turn into iPS cells. Dr. Rossi's technique, using modified RNA to encode and drive the reprogramming proteins, cut in half the time required to create iPS cells, was up to 100 times more efficient and did not integrate into the cells' DNA. It also efficiently redirected stem cells to form other tissue types.
Dr. Rossi has patented his findings and recently formed a company called ModeRNA Therapeutics to translate them to the clinic.
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