Stem cell technology A new therapy to treat liver, lung and pancreas disease

  • Edition: 2015
  • Research center: Facultat de Medicina de la UB - Fundació Bosch i Gimpera
  • Scientific Area: Cell biology
  • Business area: Therapeutic
  • Status: In development
  • Contact: b.alvarez@ub.edu

Stem cell technology is a new and simple procedure, where using cells from the patient's own skin, we are capable of developing multipotent cells, which are able to differentiate into different human tissues, and are the basis for regenerative therapies for liver, lung, intestine and pancreas diseases.

Goals

  • To provide differentiated cells for research and development of innovative stem cell therapies which represent an opportunity to treat various types of liver, lung and pancreas disease.

See project infographic:

Infographic

Problem to Solve

Liver, lung and pancreas disease is a huge problem for society now and for the future. Development of stem cell replacement therapy to  treat such diseases is essential.

Regenerative therapies based on stem cells are working well and are a strong hope for the cure of damaged tissues and organs. However, current protocols to obtain these cells are complex and require a lengthy and costly process (from 5 to 6 moths).

 

Innovation

Cell reprograming technology can turn a patient’s skin cell into stem cells to study and treat human diseases and conditions. The process involves making synthetic molecules containing genetic information that are key regulators of tissue specific stem cell i.e. neurons, heart muscle cells, eye cells, or lung cells. The tissue specific molecules containing genetic information reprograms skin cells into new stem cells that can replace damaged cells in tissues and organs. The new cell reprogramming technology developed can be used to study many diseases such as cardiac, eye, ear, and spinal cord conditions to find the cause and treatment of its symptoms. It is a world first to be able to make endoderm stem cells from patient skin cells in 7 days using a clinical grade method we have developed. Endoderm stem cells are then differentiated into lung, liver and pancreas cells. 

Level of Innovation

The procedure developed to obtain differentiated cells overcome all the limitations of the current methods with a direct cell reprogramming method in a much faster and simpler way than current methods, with the consequent benefits for research in these fields and for the patient and the healthcare system, reducing drastically the time to obtain differentiated cells from the current 5 to 6 months to just over a week and removing the threat of cancer of existing technology.

Team

Principal Scientist

Ana Belén Álvarez Palomo

Fundació Bosch i Gimpera

Ramon y Cajal Researcher

Michael Edel

Universidad de Barcelona

PhD Student

Jordi Requena

Universidad de Barcelona

Mentor

Director

Andrés G. Fernández

Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics

Partners

Obra Social
Caixa Capital Risc