In a recent report published in the journal OBM Transplantation, stem cell biotechnology company Asymmetrex reported the first counts of therapeutic “true” tissue stem cells in the history of stem cell science and medicine. This crucial research and clinical data, long-needed for accelerating the development of new and better stem cell medicines, is now readily obtained with the company’s innovative tissue stem cell counting algorithms.
“True” in stem cell science and stem cell medicine has a peculiar meaning. When applied to tissue stem cells, it reflects what has not been knowable instead of what is known. Since the earliest history of tissue stem cell science and medicine, no means existed to count tissue stem cells that maintain and regenerate the organs and tissues of children and adults. The need for an effective counting method has limited progress in stem cell research and medicine for decades.
The tissue stem cells that maintain organs and tissues are called “true” stem cells to distinguish them from other more numerous precursor cells in the body that also have important roles in building mature tissues and organs. However, other precursor cells – also known as committed progenitor cells – which are in fact produced by true stem cells, differ from true stem cells in a crucial respect. They have short lives before they turn into mature cells that eventually die. Only true stem cells have lifetimes for as long as the human lifespan. For the same reason, true stem cells are sometimes called “immortal” stem cells.
Because of the difference in lifetime, progenitor cells do not work for stem cell therapy and gene therapy. To be successful, stem cell therapies require true stem cells; and gene therapies must target true stem cells with their curative genetic engineering. Asymmetrex director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., says, “So, it is no surprise that now being able to count and determine the dosage of true stem cells routinely, in all areas of stem cell science and medicine, has got to end up making a big difference for patients. With Asymmetrex’s advance, stem cell-blind research and stem cell-blind medicine are no longer acceptable practices.”
The company’s recent report, published in OBM Transplantation, describes the first-ever quantification of several different therapeutic tissue stem cell types. True blood stem cells obtained from both bone marrow and cord blood, which are approved for stem cell therapies, were counted for the first time. These stem cells are also in active use by many companies and centers to improve transplantation therapies and to develop gene therapies. Several different types of stem cells in use for clinical trial investigations were counted. The report also shows how the ability to count true stem cells is a new powerful tool for drug evaluations that can accelerate progress in the development of new pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical medicines.
Beyond presenting the first technology for counting true stem cells, the new report describes Asymmetrex’s discovery of true stem cell counting algorithms. The newly discovered mathematical formulas allow rapid, inexpensive determination of stem cell number and dose. The new algorithms open the path to future automation of true stem cell counting. The new counting technology is free for evaluation on the company’s website.
Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. The company’s U.S. and U.K. patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of effective use of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. Asymmetrex markets the first technology for determination of the dose and quality of tissue stem cell preparations (the “AlphaSTEM Test™”) for use in stem cell transplantation therapies and pre-clinical drug evaluations. Asymmetrex is a member company of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute BioFabUSA (ARMI) and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).