MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 6 iZumi Bio, Inc., announcedtoday that John T. Dimos, Ph.D., first author of the landmark Science paper"Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Generated from Patients with ALS Can BeDifferentiated into Motor Neurons," will join its team of scientiststranslating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research into patientbenefits. Dimos' work demonstrates the potential for iPS-derived cells inregenerative medicine.
iPS cells are "reprogrammed" adult cells that have similar applicationsand potential to those of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, yet do not raisethe same ethical concerns and can be generated in a patient-specific manner tomaintain the disease-causing genetic profile while avoiding immune rejection.
Dimos' Science publication (online 31 July 2008; 10.1126/science.1158799)demonstrates that iPS cells derived from an individual patient can bedifferentiated into motor neurons, the cell type affected in amyotrophiclateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Large-scale,standardized production of such iPS-derived cells could be used for a varietyof applications including models for drug discovery and cell-based therapies.Dimos conducted his work as a postdoctoral fellow in Kevin Eggan's lab at theHarvard Stem Cell Institute (http://www.hsci.harvard.edu). He earned his Ph.D.in Molecular Biology at Princeton University in Ihor Lemischka's laboratory,where he studied what defines a stem cell at the gene expression level.
"We are delighted that John has chosen iZumi to develop his groundbreakingresearch into practical regenerative medicine applications," said ThaneKreiner, Ph.D., President and CEO of iZumi. "We are committed to working withthe most talented scientists worldwide to ensure that the enabling iPStechnology benefits patients."
"There is broad interest in translating this basic research into discoveryparadigms aimed at patient benefits," said Dimos. "iZumi has all the elementsin place to successfully lead this translation including first-classinvestors, scientific leaders and collaborators; an experienced managementteam; and a passion for improving human health. I am honored to join theteam."
iZumi Bio, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is funded by Kleiner PerkinsCaufield and Byers and Highland Capital Partners. iZumi is using the power ofinduced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to transform drug discovery andregenerative medicine. In June, 2008, iZumi announced a broad regenerativemedicine and cardiovascular disease partnership with The Gladstone Institutes.The name iZumi, which means "fountain of youth," was chosen to honor theJapanese origins of iPS technology. iZumi is located in Mountain View,California.
SOURCE iZumi Bio, Inc.