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A New Stem Cell Type: Expanded Potential Stem Cells (EPSCs) with Totipotency Features

A New Stem Cell Type: Expanded Potential Stem Cells (EPSCs) with Totipotency Features
Research Tools and Methods
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Key Problem and Market Opportunity

  • The global stem cell market size was estimated at USD 8.65 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 8.8% for the next five years
  • There is a lack of bona fide pluripotent stem cells from important animal species, in particular large farm animals
  • There is a need for improved human pluripotent stem cells for studying human development and biology, and for regenerative medicine
  • Embryonic Stem cells (ESC) may make all types of cells in the body, however they are not able to produce placental cells, and therefore cannot generate a whole animal

Key Advantages of the Technology

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  • This invention is about the generation of mammalian expanded potential stem cells (EPSCs) with totipotency features. EPSCs have enriched molecular signatures of blastomeres and possessed developmental potency for all embryonic and extra-embryonic cell lineages.
  • EPSCs, which express key pluripotency genes, are genetically stable, permit genome editing, and can differentiate to derivatives of the three germ layers in chimeras and produce primordial germ cell-like cells in vitro. Furthermore, bona fide trophoblast stem (TS) and extra-embryonic endoderm stem (XEN) cell lines can be derived from EPSCs in vitro.
  • EPSCs can be established from single eight-cell-stage blastomeres or whole eight-cell pre-implantation embryos, or by conversion of ES cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Further Details

Journal publication: Nature Cell Biology


  • New stem cell type, robust in culture and enabling genome-editing
  • Can differentiate to all cell types, including germ cells and placenta trophoblasts
  • Can be established by reprogramming somatic cells
  • Successfully established from multiple animal species, including mouse, human, pig, rabbit, horse, etc

Potential Product and Services

  • EPSC cell culture medium
  • EPSC cell lines of a variety of species
  • The applications of EPCS cells include, but not limited to
    • Animal cloning
    • Regenerative medicine and organ transplantation
    • Cell models for studying human diseases and drug screening
    • Cell-based system for producing human proteins
    • Making artificial meat

Development Status

  • PCT application No. PCT/CN2020/081594
IP Status
  • Patent application submitted

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