More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Geron Grows Stem Cells Without Mouse Feeder Cells

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Health) Oct 01 - Biotechnology company Geron Corp. announced Monday that it has developed a way to grow human embryonic stem cells without using feeder cells from mice. Geron, based in Menlo Park, California, said that it has filed worldwide patent applications covering the technology.

To date, all human cell lines have been developed using a layer of so-called feeder cells from mice that supply components necessary to sustain the human stem cells. This has raised concerns that any treatments eventually derived using stem cell lines now in existence would be limited by regulatory restrictions on the use of animal tissue.

In early August, President George Bush announced approval for government funding of research using embryonic stem cells. But he put several conditions in place, including a restriction that public money be spent only on research using embryonic stem cell lines already in existence.

Geron said that results from its research into the culture of human embryonic stem cells in the absence of direct feeder cell support were published Monday in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

"The finding greatly facilitates the development of scalable manufacturing processes to enable commercialization of human embryonic stem cell-based products," the company said in a statement.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd