Alzheimer's Drug Screening Assay

Monday, 19 August, 2002 | Supplied by: Stem Cell Sciences

Stem Cell Sciences Limited (SCS) has a novel assay for finding drugs that may provide therapy for people with Alzheimer's disease, or prevention of the disease.

The assay uses mouse embryonic stem cells as the source of pure populations of nerve cells, modified to produce human amyloid precursor protein, or APP. When fragments of APP build up in regions of the brain, they cause interference with brain function, resulting in the dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The key advantages of the assay are its physiological relevance, consistency and scale-up suitability for high throughput screening discovery programs.

Defined cell systems such as this one should permit faster, more reliable screening of compounds to generate new drug candidates with a greater likelihood of progressing through the drug development process.

The special stem cells that form the basis of the drug screening assay were prepared using SCS's patented genetic engineering and selection technologies.

The system can be readily adapted to screening very large numbers of compounds, and more importantly, genes, in physiologically relevant, function-based assays. It can be used to discover compounds and genes that protect nerves from cell death as a result of injury. Another benefit is that cell-based assay systems offer a valid alternative to the use of animals in drug and gene testing, thereby reducing the need for animal research. Attempts to determine the function of genes in whole animal models can often create a substantial bottleneck.

Phone: 03 9804 5505
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