Adjust Font Size:

Press Releases

Advanced Cell Technology Demonstrates Efficient Generation of Functional Hepatocytes (Liver cells) From Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Company Makes Progress on Multiple Therapeutic Fronts

Worcester, MA, February 21, 2008 - Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB: ACTC - News) reported today for the first time a robust and highly efficient process for the generation of high-purity hepatocytes (liver cells). The research, described online (ahead of print) in the journal STEM CELLS, signifies a significant step towards the efficient generation of hepatocytes for use in regenerative medicine and drug discovery. (blank >Click Here to link to the Paper) Moreover, the research represents another one of Advanced Cell Technology's efforts aimed at the large-scale differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into critical replacement cell types. In addition to demonstrating the efficient generation of hepatocytes in research published today, the company has made significant progress in the generation of retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells to treat retinal degenerative diseases and the generation of hemangioblasts to treat vascular disease as well as to create a large-scale and donorless source of red blood cells and platelets.

Two hallmarks of embryonic stem cells, their versatility and capacity for unlimited self renewal, suggest the cells could serve as a potentially inexhaustible source of cells for replacement therapy. As with other tissues, there is a scarcity of donor livers and hepatocytes, which is compounded by the low recovery and proliferative capacity of adult hepatocytes. In addition to the cells' potential use for the treatment of liver disease, hESC-derived hepatocytes could also provide a valuable model for novel pharmaceutical drug discovery assays as well as new drug metabolism and cytotoxicity screens, particularly because the liver is a major site for detoxification.

"We have established a highly-efficient method for deriving hepatocytes from stem cells that mirrors events in embryonic development,” said Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. and senior author of the study. "Large scale production of hepatocytes using this method should greatly bolster their applications in basic research, clinical medicine and preclinical drug discovery.”

The method reported yielded synchronous populations of hepatocytes that were generated in clinically preferred conditions with minimum use of serum and cell feeders. Highly enriched populations of definitive endoderm (DE) were generated from hESCs and then induced to differentiate along the hepatic lineage by the sequential addition of inducing factors implicated in physiological hepatogenesis. The differentiation process was largely uniform with cell cultures progressively expressing increasing numbers of hepatic lineage markers. The hepatocytes exhibited functional hepatic characteristics such as glycogen storage, indocyanine green uptake and release, and albumin secretion. In an animal model of acute liver injury, the hESC-DE cells differentiated into hepatocytes and successfully repopulated the damaged liver.

"I am delighted with the tremendous progress our scientists are making to generate a variety of important functional cells types and refine our cell differentiation process,” stated William M. Caldwell IV, CEO and Chairman of Advanced Cell Technology. "These cells have the potential to benefit many Americans suffering from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases with few if any alternatives. We are committed to developing new methods to help translate our stem cell technology into the clinic and are seeking partners for some of our newest scientific advances.”

Other authors on the paper were Dr. Sadhana Agarwal (first author of the study) and Katherine Holton, a senior research associate at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.

About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.

Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The company operates facilities in California and Massachusetts.

For more information, visit "":

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-QSB for the quarter ended September 30, 2007. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change.

Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change.


Jordan Markwith
Chad Griffin Consulting, Inc.
(310) 888-3523

Daniel Schustack
CEOcast, Inc.
(212) 732-4300

Press Contact

Jordan Markwith

Download PDF


To view PDF Files, you must have Acrobat Reader.

Download Adobe Acrobat