The advent of stem cell technology is proving to be one of the most foundational developments in the history of modern medicine. Like the stem cell itself, this rapidly developing technology is showing a remarkable ability to transform itself, revealing new opportunities in a rising number of medical applications. Although some awareness of the ability of some cells to change into other cells has been known for a long time, it’s only been in the past several decades that researchers have begun to appreciate the range of capabilities that stem cells represent. The result has been an explosion of possibilities in our understanding and work with the human body.
Perhaps best known is the work being done in the field of regenerative medicine, using stem cells to replace or regenerate damaged human cells. Potential applications are wide spread, from the use of stem cells to help control diabetes, to the healing of damaged hearts, to dealing with the many diseases associated with nerve or brain cell damage.
In some cancers, such as certain leukemias and lymphomas, damaged stem cells that are no longer able to do their job can be removed and replaced with healthy stem cells. Stem cell transplants are becoming an increasingly important cancer therapy.
Stem cells are also being used in research. By using pluripotent stem cells to create various specific cell types, researchers can perform any number of complex medical experiments that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible to perform.
Today there is yet another field of growing interest: the use of stem cells for early drug testing, an area focused on by VistaGen Therapeutics. VistaGen has developed a way to use its proprietary human pluripotent stem cell technology to develop an advanced testing platform called Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™. It allows drug development companies to test the effects of new drug candidates on real heart and liver cells without having to wait for clinical trials. This represents a huge money-saving advantage, avoiding the expense involved in developing a drug only to have it fail due to heart or liver toxicity, a major problem in the industry. The goal of VistaGen is to use this technology to discover, rescue, and develop novel drug candidates for a wide range of diseases.
For additional information, visit www.VistaGen.com
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