Technology

Pluripotent stem cells and their potential

Stem cells and reprogrammed cell-based technologies are currently emerging as a promising solution to provide a source of differentiated cell types for transplantation or research purposes. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are characterized by their ability to self-renew, which is, to be maintained indefinitely in a proliferative and undifferentiated state in culture and their pluripotency, meaning their capacity to differentiate into the three embryonic lineages: ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm plus all of their derivatives.

Using appropriate differentiation protocols, these technologies could allow the massive and reproductive production of virtually any cell type of the human body. Such cells are considered for two main applications:

  • For their in vivo use in regenerative medicine applications, to replace missing cell types associated with certain pathologies
  • For their in vitro use as research tools, to provide relevant cellular models of healthy as well as diseased cell types for drug discovery and toxicity assays.

In addition to embryo-derived ES cells, the recent development of reprogramming technologies now allows “ES-like” stem cells to be generated from somatic cells, such as fibroblasts. Introduction into somatic cells of a small set of specific transcription factors can reprogram various differentiated cell types to an ES-like stem cell state (induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS). This strategy now allows the generation of ES-like cell lines from individual patients, offering the possibility to create highly relevant in vitro models of human genetic diseases but also minimizing potential immune rejection issues after transplantation.

Today, one of the main issues currently limiting the development of pluripotent stem cells technologies’ applications remains the lack of efficient differentiation protocols to obtain in vitro pure populations of the cell type of interest. In particular, despite the tremendous interest it would represent for muscular diseases, there is currently no protocol allowing the efficient differentiation of pluripotent cells towards the muscle lineage.


Description of the technology

Anagenesis Biotechnologies owns a unique proprietary technology, which is the result of 15 years of research in the laboratory of Pr Olivier Pourquié, a world expert in the field of musculo-skeletal development and stem cells. His laboratory is particularly interested in paraxial mesoderm, the embryonic tissue that gives rise to skeletal muscle and axial skeleton.

Paraxial Mesoderm Multipotent Cells (P2MCs) are shared precursors of skeletal muscle, ribs, vertebrae, dermis, endothelium & brown fat. Anagenesis Biotechnologies’ proprietary technology allows the company to produce muscle cells from stem cells and is based on a unique know-how protected by two patent families:

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Anagenesis Biotechnologies technology allows the company to generate unlimited quantities of P2MCs and differentiated muscle cells by successfully recapitulating each step of the embryonic and foetal myogenesis in vitro: