Stem-cell banks enable wealthy to free 'backup version' of their adult selves

Launched in Switzerland, Dubai, Singapore and the US two months ago, it involves taking cells from a small sample of the skin under local anaesthetic at a dermatologist, shipping them to Scils laboratories and rebooting them into induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, otherwise simply known as stem cells.

Scils service differs from cord blood banking, in which blood is taken from the umbilical cord for later use to reconstitute blood. We believe its going to be very popular with a certain class of people who have everything they want but cannot go against ageing, said Mr Choulika. This is expensive, so only reserved for a certain class of people who can afford it.

Twenty years ago only rich people had cell phones. Now everybody has them.

Cellectis specialises in genome engineering and stem cell treatment. Since its foundation in 1999, Dr Choulika says the company has developed new classes of products in biopharmaceutical production, agrobiotechnology, induced stem cells and alternative fuels. The group is due to launch a trial later this year with University College London on potential genetic therapies for chronic leukaemia.

Last year, Cellectis had revenues of 27 million from deals allowing medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies to use its technobiology and research.

Scil offers people the best possible chance in the future, said Dr Choulika. People should be able to 'live young no matter how old they grow.

Were offering the potential for people to use their cells for their cure as soon as regenerative medicine treatments become available.

Scil says that IPS cells can be derived from adult cells at any time of life. However, due to human cell DNA degeneration over time, Scil recommends that interested people should give their skin samples sooner rather than later.

Dr Choulika said Britain had been chosen for launch because medical regulations allow it to function. In France, in contrast, he said the service would not be permissible under current legislation.

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Stem-cell banks enable wealthy to free 'backup version' of their adult selves

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