ReNeuron has noted yesterday’s vote by MEPs against the use of embryonic stem cells (ESC’s) in research and for special rules for the use of human foetal tissue. Both votes were taken on amendments tabled to the Human Tissue and Cells Safety Directive.
The Company’s human stem cell programmes use human foetal stem cells obtained from therapeutic terminations of pregnancy, not ESC’s and is consequently not impacted by the vote on ESC’s. Furthermore, ReNeuron believes the Company already complies with the proposed requirements for the use of foetal tissue. As a result, the directors believe that ReNeuron’s research will not be adversely affected by the proposed legislation covering the use of human foetal tissue for research should it become law.
ReNeuron is developing cell transplantation therapies to treat patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, stroke and other diseases of the brain. ReNeuron uses a tiny sample of human foetal brain as starting material to create brain stem cell lines, each of which has the potential to treat many hundreds of patients. The Company’s cell lines are immortalised with a conditional c-Myc gene which ensures that the stem cells retain genetic stability as they divide, a pre-requisite for cell transplantation.
ReNeuron has now manufactured large numbers of cell lines with this proprietary technology and has shown that these cells readily differentiate into mature brain cells in vitro and survive well in vivo. The Company believes that this technology gives it a strong patent position and that its progress to date now places it ahead of many of its competitors in the field of cell transplantation therapy, where in particular the requirement for genetically stable cell lines is paramount.
The Cells and Tissue Directive will establish important quality and safety standards for cell transplantation therapies. However, the Company believes in the broad potential of stem cell research for therapeutic purposes and is disappointed to see attempts in the European parliament to limit research into ESC’s. ReNeuron will join with the UK scientific community in seeking to ensure that such amendments do not become law and that the UK remains a leading country for stem cell research.
Notes to editors
ReNeuron Holdings PLC is a UK bio-pharmaceutical company developing proprietary treatments for neurological disorders. Its focus is developing innovative neural stem cell technology that has the potential to treat brain diseases including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The Company is also exploiting the use of its stem cell lines as a drug discovery platform through its ReNcell product, which is marketed to pharmaceutical companies and academia for use as a drug discovery tool and for general research.
In addition to its stem cell programmes, ReNeuron is also developing more conventional drugs targeting diseases of the nervous system. ReNeuron has in-licensed two protein-based therapeutics, ReN1820 and ReN1826, which are currently in pre-clinical development.
Martin Edwards, Chief Executive Officer
ReNeuron Holdings PLC
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