Technology Listings

Generation of Endothelial Cells for the Repair of Ischemic Tissue


Reprograming of adult fibroblasts into endothelial cells using a single transcription factor for the repair of ischemic tissue.

Key Benefits
  • Converts to endothelial cells with a single, non-tumorigenic, transcription factor.
  • Bypasses a pluripotent stage and avoids the use of potentially tumorigenic stem cells.
Market Summary

Ischemic cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease, is the most frequent cause of death in the US. These causes of death are the clinical manifestation of a loss of functional blood vessels. Because endothelial cells are required for the healing of ischemic tissues, there have been many attempts to develop endothelial cells for cell-based therapies. While originally promising, stem cells have had limited clinical application due to inefficient differentiation and tumorigenic concerns. There is currently no established treatment option for repairing damage to cardiac tissue from a heart attack. Efficient and safe production of endothelial cells has the potential to become a treatment option for the nearly 715,000 Americans who have a heart attack each year. In addition, endothelial cells have treatment potential for strokes, diabetic complications and general wound healing.

Technical Summary

Isolation of endothelial cells from adult organs for culture and treatment applications is prohibitively challenging. Likewise, differentiating embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells to endothelial cells have tumorigenic potential and are inefficiently produced. These limitations inhibit the advanced evaluation of endothelial cells for their therapeutic potential in cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetic neurovascular complications, and wound healing. Emory researchers have identified a single transcription factor, with or without being combined with a small molecule epigenetic modifier, that is able to reprogram adult fibroblasts to endothelial cells. This reprogramming approach bypasses a pluripotent stage and avoids the use of stem cells, which have tumorigenic and aberrant differentiation potential. These reprogrammed cells express the common gene and protein markers of endothelial cells and can induce vessel formation in vivo.

Developmental Stage

Successfully reprogrammed human fibroblasts into endothelial cells can induce vessel formation including vasculogenesis, angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in various animal models including ischemic hind limb mouse models.

Patent Information
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Utility(parent) United States 14/698,899 10,023,842 4/29/2015 7/17/2018 4/29/2035 Issued
Tech ID: 13132
Published: 12/4/2013
Drug Discovery
Research Tools

John Nicosia
Licensing Associate
Emory University

Young-Sup Yoon
Sang-Ho Lee
Changwon Park
Ji Woong Han

Cell/Gene Therapy