Scale-up of platelet production from human pluripotent stem cells for developing targeted therapies: advances & challenges

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Jonathan N Thon & Sven M Karlsson


Without question, the future of regenerative medicine is in the scalable production of transfusable human tissues for therapeutic use. Platelets will be among the first of these stem-cell based therapeutic tissues to be developed and adopted for clinical use, most notably because they are anucleate and can be safely irradiated to substantially reduce the risk of teratoma development and other cell contaminants. Furthermore, platelets are short-lived, well characterized, easily transplanted, are not required to be autologous, and support a larger than $20 billion per year global market that relies entirely on human volunteer donors. While we are within a decade of realizing the potential of stem cell-based therapeutics, this was not obvious only several years ago. This article identifies the major logistical challenges associated with commercially scaling platelet production for therapeutic use and our experiential insights into translating this technology to the clinic.

Submitted for review: Sep 6 2017 Published: Nov 16 2017
DOI: 10.18609/cgti.2017.068
Citation: Cell Gene Therapy Insights 2017; 3(9), 701-718.
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