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Breakthrough Finding Links Ageing With Stem Cell Exhaustion


Leiden, The Netherlands,- Biotech company Pharming Group NV (“Pharming” or “the Company”) (Euronext: PHARM) today announced that the founders of its subsidiary DNage have published new insights in the field of aging in the leading scientific journal Nature.

Professor Irving Weissman and his team at Stanford University (CA, USA) together with DNage’s scientific founder professor Jan Hoeijmakers of the Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam, NL) have shown, using of one DNage’s mouse models, that accumulation of DNA damage progressively limits functional capacity of stem cells. This finding is very important in a number of ways: firstly, it strengthens the link between DNA damage and ageing. Secondly, it establishes a clear model on how the accumulation of DNA damage leads to ageing of tissues and organs. Thirdly, these data further support the suitability of our proprietary mouse models in ageing and stem cell research. Finally, the findings provide Pharming with clear angles on how to approach the treatment or prevention of ageing diseases. This insight is currently being applied to develop novel approaches for treatment of osteoporosis and neurodegeneration.

Background on the principal authors
Jan Hoeijmakers, PhD is the head of the department of Genetics at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. His work focuses for the past twenty-five years on DNA damage and repair. He and his team were the first to clone a DNA repair gene in the early 80’s, have generated an extensive collection of mouse models and were also the first that established the link between DNA damage accumulation and ageing. In 2004 Jan Hoeijmakers co-founded DNage based on these findings. Irving Weissman, PhD, is the Director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, US. Prof Weissman is one of the leading experts worldwide in the field of stemcell biology. He has been active in this field for more than 30 years and is considered to be one of the founders of the field of adult stem cell biology. Dr. Weissman is also the founder of several companies including Systemix, a successful biotech company in the field of stemcells which was sold to Novartis in the 90’s.


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