Invitrogen Launches Breakthrough Media For Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Serum- and Feeder-Free Medium Keeps Cells Genetically Normal, Allows for Better Cell-Line Expansion
Carlsbad, CA, and San Diego, CA / August 14, 2007 / Invitrogen, a provider of essential life science technologies for research, production and diagnostics, and Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company, today announced the launch of a new fully-defined, serum-and feeder-free media specifically formulated for the growth and expansion of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The product, known as STEMPRO® hESC SFM, will be sold by Invitrogen under a licensing agreement with Novocell.
STEMPRO® hESC SFM is the first serum-and feeder-free media for hESCs that has been shown to maintain these cells in a genetically normal state. Unlike other defined media, which have been tested only in one or two hESC lines, STEMPRO® hESC SFM has been extensively tested and proven to keep the cells pluripotent in a number of lines, including BG01, BG02, BG03, HUES9, H1 and H9. Pluripotency, the ability of hESCs to develop into cells of all three major lineages in the body, is a key characteristic of embryonic stem cells, and one reason they hold such promise for therapeutic uses.
Currently, researchers working with hESCs grow them in serum-containing undefined media using mouse or human embryonic fibroblast feeder cells. These culture methods not only make it difficult to keep cells pluripotent, they are also labor-intensive and lead to challenges in scaling up cell production. Also, the undefined nature of these cultures means scientists have a harder time controlling culture conditions and comparing results from experiment to experiment.
“STEMPRO® hESC SFM represents a major breakthrough in the field of embryonic stem cell research,” said Joydeep Goswami, Vice President, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. “Researchers today face major challenges when culturing hESCs, including difficulties in maintaining pluripotency, lack of definition in current culture systems and consistency in their experiments. This revolutionary product addresses these challenges and allow for more ideal cell culture conditions to keep hESCs genetically normal and in an undifferentiated state.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with Invitrogen in bringing our defined media for hESCs to market,” said Alan Lewis, Ph.D., President and CEO of Novocell. We anticipate this product will accelerate the important work of stem cell research. The commercialization of our defined media is especially motivating for Novocell as we continue to advance and develop our cell therapy for diabetes.”
Invitrogen is the premier supplier of tools and reagents for stem cell research. The company offers more than 1,200 products tailored to various parts of the stem cell research workflow for embryonic and adult stem cell populations, including Dynabeads® for cell separation; pre-conjugated stem cell antibodies from Molecular Probes; and gold standard media from GIBCO such as KNOCKOUT? Serum Replacement and MesenPRO? RS reduced serum medium for mesenchymal stem cells. The company recently announced the launch of the BG01v/hOG engineered stem cell line, which allows scientists to monitor the pluripotency of hESCs without sacrificing those cells, and the STEMPRO® EZPassage? tool for stem cell passaging.
About Invitrogen Corporation
Invitrogen Corporation (Nasdaq:IVGN) provides products and services that support academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide in their efforts to improve the human condition. The company provides essential life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery, and commercial bioproduction. Invitrogen’s own research and development efforts are focused on breakthrough innovation in all major areas of biological discovery including functional genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and cell biology — placing Invitrogen’s products in nearly every major laboratory in the world. Founded in 1987, Invitrogen is headquartered in Carlsbad, California, and conducts business in more than 70 countries around the world. The company is celebrating 20 years of accelerating scientific discovery. Invitrogen globally employs approximately 4,300 scientists and other professionals and had revenues of more than $1.15 billion in 2006. For more information, visit www.invitrogen.com.
About Novocell, Inc.
Novocell, Inc. is a stem cell engineering company with research operations in San Diego, CA, and Athens, GA, dedicated to creating, delivering, and commercializing cell and drug therapies for diabetes and other chronic diseases. Novocell is the first company to efficiently engineer human embryonic stem cells into definitive endoderm, the gatekeeper cells that differentiate into many other cells and tissues of the endoderm lineage. Novocell has three primary technologies: stem cell engineering, cell encapsulation, and drug discovery. The company was founded in 1999, merged with CyThera and BresaGen in 2004, and completed a $25M Series C financing in July 2007.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements contained in this press release are considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and it is Invitrogen’s intent that such statements be protected by the safe harbor created thereby. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those regarding: 1) STEMPRO® hESC SFM is the first serum-and feeder-free media for hESCs that has been shown to maintain these cells in a genetically normal state ; 2) Unlike other defined media, which have been tested only one or two hESC lines, STEMPRO® hESC SFM has been extensively tested and proven to keep the cells pluripotent in a number of lines, including BG01, BG02, BG03, HUES9, H1 and H9. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks: a) This may not create more ideal cell culture conditions to keep hESCs genetically normal and in an undifferentiated state; and b) This may or may not accelerate the important work of stem cell research; as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in Invitrogen’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.