NewStem, a spinoff of Israeli Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s technology-transfer firm called Yissum Research Development, is developing a new diagnostic kit to predict resistance to chemotherapy.
Based on the research of human haploid pluripotent stem cells (HHPSCs) by Azrieli Centre for Stem Cells and Genetic Research professor Nissim Benvenisty, the kit will employ a new technology developed by NewStem.
Chemotherapy is reported to usually result in primary and/or secondary resistance to the drugs.
The differentiation capacity of pluripotent stem cells makes them useful for the examination of mutated genes’ influence on different cells, physiological processes and drug responses.
Due to their diploid characteristic, the generation of these cells with two copies of mutated genes is considered to be difficult.
NewStem’s new technology can be used to address this concern, as it allows the generation of fully functional haploid stem cells.
The firm holds the intellectual property, reagents and experience required for the haploid pluripotent stem cell (HPSC) isolation, differentiation, genetic manipulation, immunogenicity and tumorigenicity.
NewStem chief executive officer Ayelet Dilion-Mashiah said: "The haploid stem cells we're developing have the potential to change the face of medical research as they hold a pivotal role in regenerative medicine, disease therapy and cancer research.
“NewStem is the only company worldwide to develop novel products based on this paradigm-changing proprietary technology, which we acquired under an exclusive licence from Yissum.
"We are currently in the process of raising funds for our research development and regulatory activities."
The availability of a broad library of HPSCs with various mutations and genetic makeups is expected to allow NewStem to develop diagnostic kits for personalised medication, as well as therapeutic and reproductive products.
Image: Haploid cell on the left (with 23 chromosomes); Diploid cell on the right (with 46 chromosomes). Photo: courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Yissum.