Cellular Therapy

iPS Cells Represent a Superior Approach


iPS cell-derived cardiomyocyte patch demonstrates spontaneous and synchronized contractions after 4 days in culture.

One of the greatest promises of human stem cells is to transform these early-stage cells into treatments for devastating diseases. Stem cells can potentially be used to repair damaged human tissues and to bioengineer transplantable human organs using various technologies, such as 3D printing. Using stem cells derived from another person (allogeneic transplantation) or from the patient (autologous transplantation), research efforts are underway to develop new therapies for historically difficult to treat conditions.  In the past, adult stem and progenitor cells were used, but the differentiation of these cell types has proven to be difficult to control. Initial clinical trials using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells indicate that they are far superior for cellular therapy applications because they are better suited to scientific manipulation.

Groundbreaking Cellular Therapy Applications

CDI’s iPS cell-derived iCell® and MyCell® products are integral to the development of a range of cell therapy applications. A study using iCell Cardiomyocytes as part of a cardiac patch designed to treat heart failure is now underway. This tissue-engineered implantable patch may emerge as a potential myocardial regeneration treatment.

Another study done with iPS cell-derived cells and kidney structures has marked an important first step towards regenerating, and eventually transplanting, a functioning human organ. In this work, iCell Endothelial Cells were used to help to recapitulate the blood supply of a laboratory-generated kidney scaffold.  This type of outcome will be crucial for circulation and nutrient distribution in any rebuilt organ.

Cell Therapy

iCell Endothelial Cells revascularize kidney tissue. (Data courtesy of Dr. Jason Wertheim, Northwestern University)

CDI and its partners are leveraging iPS cell-derived human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to develop and manufacture autologous treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  The mature RPE cells will be derived from the patients’ own blood cells using CDI’s MyCell process. If approved by the FDA, this autologous cellular therapy would be one of the first of its kind in the U.S.

Learn more about the technology behind the development of these iPS cell-derived cellular therapies.