Sunday, April 24, 2005

Business World: Seattle's Ikaria

The Hutch to set up biotech firm
Mice-hibernation scientist to help form Ikaria Inc.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Saturday, April 23, 2005

Seattle cell biologist Mark Roth and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are teaming up to form Ikaria Inc., a new biotechnology company that seeks to use Roth's discovery of inducing hibernation in mice to help humans with organ transplants, trauma and cancer care.

Word of the new company follows yesterday's publication of Roth's groundbreaking study in the edition of Science.

The company does not yet have a chief executive, said Spencer Lemons, a Hutch technology transfer executive who is overseeing the discovery that was done at the Seattle research institute.

Roth, a Hutch researcher and the study's lead investigator, discovered that oxygen deprivation in mice led to a reversible state of hibernation. For doctors who need to stop bodily functions, this discovery gives hope that the same process could be done in humans, especially for cancer and trauma care.

Roth yesterday declined to comment on the new company.

[ ... Read the full article ... ]

Here is the abstract of the research article in this week's issue of Science:

Blackstone E, Morrison M, Roth MB. H2S Induces a Suspended Animation-Like State in Mice. Science. 2005 Apr 22; 308(5721): 518.

Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Mammals normally maintain their core body temperature (CBT) despite changes in environmental temperature. Exceptions to this norm include suspended animation-like states such as hibernation, torpor, and estivation. These states are all characterized by marked decreases in metabolic rate, followed by a loss of homeothermic control in which the animal's CBT approaches that of the environment. We report that hydrogen sulfide can induce a suspended animation-like state in a nonhibernating species, the house mouse (Mus musculus). This state is readily reversible and does not appear to harm the animal. This suggests the possibility of inducing suspended animation-like states for medical applications.

PMID: 15845845 [PubMed - in process]

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