Genea Biocells to provide stem cells to US


Tuesday, 18 February, 2014

In a boon for Australian stem cell company Genea Biocells, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry has approved 52 of its human embryonic stem cell lines (hESC) for use in the US.

Genea’s hESC lines will support medical research into new treatments for serious genetic or acquired diseases, including orphan diseases.

Amongst the 52 stem cell lines listed with the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry are 43 disease-specific hESC lines representing 24 different genetic diseases.

These genetic diseases include neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease, tuberous sclerosis and infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, and neuromuscular disorders such as Charcot-Marie‐Tooth disease, Becker muscular dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy.

Also included are cell lines expressing genes coding for genetic cancers, metabolic conditions, vascular diseases and eye conditions. 


The nine unaffected cell lines approved are from varied genetic backgrounds.

Genea Biocells General Manager Uli Schmidt said the approval by the NIH of the cell lines, which were derived in full compliance with international ethical and regulatory standards, is an acknowledgment of the company’s expertise and leadership in this field.

The hESCs are derived from embryos voluntarily donated by patients who have undergone in-vitro fertilisation - often in conjunction with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) - at Genea’s fertility clinics. A fully informed and voluntary consent process is also conducted with patients.

Genea Biocells, a subsidiary of Australian fertility group Genea, has the world’s largest private bank of pluripotent hESCs with more than 100 individual lines representing almost 30 different genetic diseases.

NIH applications for remaining Genea Biocells cell lines are in preparation.

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