The Research & Development Department at Biohellenika paves the way for new prospects in stem cell clinical use. Basic research on human-derived cells illuminates underlying disease mechanisms and offers the potential of translating bench work to clinical application.
Biohellenika isolates mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue, bone marrow and adipose tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells have been extensively used in experimental models for tissue regeneration and clinical trials for treatment of human diseases. Adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) have the advantage that they can be easily isolated by liposuction and expanded by medium term culture in the laboratory. They are multipotent cells which may differentiate into a variety of cell types in the presence of specific cytokines. Following transplantation, ADSCs are recruited into wounded areas making them excellent tools for targeted gene delivery.
The research department of Biohellenika is developing novel technologies for the genetic modification of ADSCs and their differentiation into various cell types, e.g. neuron-like cells. More specifically:
- Use of the transposon technology Sleeping Beauty 100X to insert genes into the genome of ADSCs and express the relevant proteins. The transposon technology represents a safer and more efficient option for the genetic modification of stem cells than the use of viruses. (MDC Berlin and EKETA).
- Differentiate ADSCs into neuron-like cells and use them in compound screenings for the development of novel drugs against neurodegenerative diseases.
- Use ADSCs for cartilage and myocardial regeneration. (Aristotle University department of nanotechnology & AAFMBR).
- Wound healing (Masha University, Plastic Surgery Clinics Medical School AUTh and Kapodistrian University Athens).
- Use of stem cell therapy for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (Pulmonology Clinic Democritus University Alexandropolis).
- Development of effective scaffolds for tissue regeneration (Aristotle University and EKETA)
Biohellenika also participates in pilot studies organized by university clinics and provides autologous ADSCs to patients suffering from myocardial infarction, neurodegenerative diseases or for use in procedures that promote regeneration after surgery.
Biohellenika acquires public funding and invests own funds on Research & Development. Our corporate profile identifies with scientific progress through the numerous ongoing research projects. In this context, close collaboration with academia and clinics is a priority and indicates our target to offer high-end solutions for biotech sector and clinical practice.
See also related paper: Petrakis S, Rasko T, Mates L, Ivics Z, Izsvak Z, Kouzi-Koliakou K and Koliakos G. Gateway-compatible transposon vector to genetically modify human embryonic kidney and adipose-derived stromal cells. Biotechnol J. 2012 Feb 10.