Diagnostic kit based on proprietary understanding of stem cells
May 22, 2017 — NewStem introduces a new technology for predicting resistance to chemotherapy treatments. The company is developing a diagnostic kit based on the pioneering human haploid pluripotent stem cells (HHPSCs)1 research of Professor Nissim Benvenisty, of Hebrew Univerisity’s Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research.
Chemotherapy, still the mainstay in cancer treatment, often results in tumor primary and/or secondary resistance to the drugs, which not only renders the therapy ineffective, but also subjects patients to harsh and potentially harmful treatments. Pluripotent stem cells, cells that are able to differentiate into any given cell type, are used for a variety of applications, from basic research to therapeutics. Due to their differentiation capacity, one potential use of stem cells is to assess the influence of mutated genes on a variety of cells, physiological processes, and drug responses. However, since these cells, as most human cells, contain two copies of each gene (diploid cells) it is often difficult to generate cells in which both copies of the relevant genes are mutated.
The technology being developed by NewStem enables the generation of fully functional stem cells containing only one copy of each gene (haploid cells). The company, recently founded as a spinoff of Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, possesses proprietary intellectual property, reagents and experience related to the isolation and differentiation of haploid pluripotent stem cells (HPSCs), their genetic manipulation, immunogenicity, tumorigenicity, and their unique capacity in disease modeling. A unique and broad library of HPSCs with different mutations and genetic makeups enables NewStem not only do develop diagnostic kits for personalized medication but also, in the future, to develop therapeutic and reproductive products.
“The haploid stem cells we’re developing have the potential to change the face of medical research as they hold a pivotal role in regenerative medicine, disease therapy, and cancer research. NewStem is the only company worldwide to develop novel products based on this paradigm-changing proprietary technology, which we acquired under an exclusive license from Yissum,” commented Ayelet Dilion-Mashiah, CEO of NewStem. “We are currently in the process of raising funds for our research and development and regulatory activities.”