Screening stem cells and their derivatives
There are myriad reasons for academics and biotech/pharma to want to screen stem cells or derivatives of stem cells for small molecules or growth factors. The published cases are to improve and guide differentiation, promote reprogramming of adult cells to iPS cells, allow freedom to operate in a crowded IP landscape, secure supply, or address aspects of pluripotent stem cell biology that act as barriers to their more ready use (e.g. maintenance of pluripotency and cell survival). Alternatively drug may be sought to manipulate endogenous adult stem cell populations in an approach dubbed regenerative pharmacology. However a critical use of screening is to identify small molecules that will be substitutes for complex biologicals e.g. growth factors that are costly to purchase from third parties and often non-complint with cGMP regulations.
You can read a review of the uses of small molecules to manipulate stem cells here.
At Stem Cell Solutions Ltd, we have world-class expertise and know-how in screening human embryonic stem cells having developed an industrial standards platform over the course of a 4 year collaboration with Cellartis AB.
A case study which identified novel and more effective pro-survival molecules was published in the Biochemical Journal in 2010.