MIAMI, FL and BOSTON, MA, April 18, 2013 – The Alpha-1 Project (TAP) announced a $150,000 commission to Darrell Kotton, MD, to expand development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines created from tissue donated by patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1). Kotton is Professor of Medicine and Co-director of both The Alpha-1 Center and the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.
“We are happy to announce The Alpha-1 Project’s investment in providing tools for researchers and industry,” said Jean-Marc Quach, Executive Director of TAP. “This commission signals our intent to direct research and resources aimed at speeding the development of new therapies for Alpha-1. I must emphasize that additional funds will need to be raised from the community if Dr. Kotton is to meet the goal of completing 20 stem cell lines over the next three years.”
Kotton plans to make the Alpha-1 iPSC lines available to all researchers interested in studying stem cell technology and possible therapies for Alpha-1.
“We’re excited to expand our research resource portfolio for the international investigator community with the leading-edge technology of these cell lines,” said John Walsh, President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation and member of TAP’s board of directors. “Dr. Kotton is a leader in Alpha-1 research and in sharing his findings with other researchers. He has created a best-in-class Clinical Resource Center and set an example of embracing our community by his participation in conferences and inviting Alphas to tour his lab, meet his colleagues, and participate in his clinical research. We’re committed to raising the additional funds to promote access to this incredible resource.”
The development of the stem cells is exciting in part because, unlike embryonic stem cells, they are created from cells donated by living adults with Alpha-1. Since iPSC cells are undifferentiated, they can be induced to grow into various organ cells.