Lineage Restricted Neuron Precursor Stem Cells
Neurodegeneration is a common theme of many nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), head trauma, epilepsy and stroke. These disorders are devastating and expensive, with annual costs currently exceeding several hundred billion dollars in the United States alone, and current treatments are inadequate. Adding to the urgency of the problem is the fact that the incidence of these age-related disorders is increasing rapidly as population demographics change. Treatment of CNS dysfunction has been mainly via the administration of pharmaceuticals; however this has many complications such as transportation across the blood-brain barrier and drug tolerance. Cell transplantation is promising but at a very early stage with much research still needed. Drs. Rao and Mayer-Proschel have isolated lineage restricted neuronal precursor stem cells that will be of great benefit in future CNS research.
In the United States, five million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease and this figure is predicted to jump to 16 million by 2050. One to 1.5 million people in the United States are afflicted with Parkinson's Disease. Other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) disable thousands of individuals in the prime of life. As society ages, neurodegenerative diseases will become increasingly common. Collectively, the value of the cell-based markets was $26.6 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase to $56.2 billion in 2010 and $96.3 billion in 2015. The largest expansion will be in diseases of the central nervous system and cancer.
Stage of Development
Two patents have been issued in the U.S.: 6,734,015 and 6,787,353. A continuing application has also been filed under publication number US-2005-0003531-A1. Numerous foreign equivalents are also in progress. This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program. It is available for licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.
*Mayer-Proschel M, Kalyani AJ, Mujtaba T, Rao MS. (1997) Isolation of lineage-restricted neuronal precursors from multipotent neuroepithelial stem cells. Neuron (4):773-85.
*See also http://www.grc.nia.nih.gov/branches/irp/mrao.htm
Anjali Kalyani, Margot Mayer-Proschel, Mahendra Rao
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