According to Nikkei English News, Dnavec Corp. has developed a method to create human stem cells with a significantly lower risk of cancer.

The startup has successfully found a way to create human induced pluripotent stem cells using a virus that doesn’t change the cells’ DNA. Consequently, the odds the cells could turn cancerous are lower, (Nikkei said).

The main obstacle to using “reprogrammed” human stem cells is the high probability that they might turn cancerous. Presently, the hottest area in stem cell biology is that of induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which have the ability to develop into several different tissue types.

Researchers highlighted Major safety concerns with the previous studies of induced pluripotent stem cells.

There are two major concerns. Firstly, active copies of the reprogramming genes, which can trigger tumours, are left in the reprogrammed cells.

And secondly, the viruses used to deliver the genes into cells’ chromosomes can also cause cancer if they jump into a gene that keeps cell division in check, so disrupting its function.

Nikkei  did not mention the source of the report or the method that was used for creating the special type of human stem cells, but Nikkei assured that It is expected that the company may make an announcement as early as next week.

DNAVEC Corporation is a venture company originally incubated as a Japanese national project supported by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare.

DNAVEC Corporation, successfully developed innovative vectors including the Sendai virus vector system, which are expected to become an indispensable device for gene therapy.

Source: Bloomberg []