Stem cell developer Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with German pharmaceutical company Merck Serono to expand the two companies' stem cell based drug screening collaboration which began in April 2012.
Kadimastem develops human pluripotent stem cell-based drug screening and therapeutic solutions. The Nes Ziona based company has developed technologies to differentiate stem cells into Oligodendrocytes (brain cells that produce myelin, the insulation for neural wiring) and which are destroyed by the immune system in multiple sclerosis.
Kadimastem and Merck Serono have been leveraging cell-based drug screening technology to discover compounds which stimulate differentiation and myelination (the insulation of axons). Such compounds may lead to next generation therapeutics for multiple sclerosis, mainly in those stages where current drugs that affect the immune system have no more therapeutic use.
A key goal of the newly signed MOU is to establish drug screening assays using stem cell-derived Astrocytes. Astrocytes are neural supporting cells that have been shown to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 4, 2013
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