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Posted: September 21, 2009

Corning Incorporated and Geron Corporation Showcase New Synthetic Surface Matrices to Enhance Stem Cell Growth

(Nanowerk News) Corning Incorporated and Geron Corporation today announced the successful development of novel synthetic surface matrices demonstrated to enhance and support the scalable manufacturing and growth of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
Through its ongoing collaboration with Geron, Corning has developed a synthetic surface that supports the growth and differentiation of hESCs in a defined (animal-free) medium. Data presented today at the World Stem Cell Summit in Baltimore, Md., will show multi-passage growth of multiple undifferentiated hESC lines and the subsequent differentiation of one of these cell lines into cardiomyocytes. The growth and differentiation of hESCs on this surface is robust and reproducible, an important condition for the large-scale production of cells and therapeutic development. Data will specifically be presented in a poster titled, “Synthetic Peptide-Acrylate Surfaces for Long-Term Self-Renewal and Cardiomyocyte Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Defined Medium.”
“We are excited to share the results our research with Geron has generated with the scientific community,” said Dr. Jeff Mooney, director of commercial technology for Corning Life Sciences. “This collaboration is an example of our commitment to bringing Corning’s unique expertise in materials and surfaces to enhance cell growth and deliver critical products to the life sciences industry.”
Since 2006, Corning has worked with Geron to develop synthetic surface matrices to support the scalable manufacturing of hESCs and differentiated cell types derived from them. Synthetic growth surfaces could replace the biological surface coatings that are widely used today to grow and differentiate pluripotent stem cells and may offer increased reproducibility, cost savings, and regulatory advantages.
“We are pleased with the achievements to date of our collaborative efforts with Corning,” said Dr. Jane S. Lebkowski, Geron’s senior vice president and chief scientific officer for regenerative medicine. “Together our teams have developed a synthetic surface that can be manufactured into multiple culture vessel formats and directly supports the growth and differentiation of hESCs. Geron scientists have previously established techniques for feeder-free growth of hESCs and this is the important next step for scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of therapies for degenerative diseases from hESCs.”
Laboratory products using specialized surfaces resulting from this collaboration will be commercialized by Corning subject to certain commercial use restrictions. Geron will receive a royalty on future product sales and has exclusive rights to use the surfaces in the manufacturing of certain therapeutic products. Through this collaboration, a platform of surfaces is in development to support the needs of stem cell researchers worldwide in their efforts to grow specific cells in quantities desired for research purposes.
Corning Life Sciences brings new and innovative laboratory technologies to researchers worldwide and helps customers succeed by providing innovative, high-quality products and services in the areas of polymer science, biochemistry and molecular biology, glass melting and forming, surface modification, and characterization science.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.
About Geron Corporation
Geron is developing first-in-class biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes. The company is advancing an anti-cancer drug and a cancer vaccine that target the enzyme telomerase through multiple clinical trials in different cancers.
Source: Corning (press release)

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