• Unlimited cell resource
  • No genetic footprint: (ie chemical reprogamming) without the use of transcription factors
  • Small molecules are non-immunogenic
  • Efficient: ~2% fibroblasts form multipotent neurospheres
  • Effective: 95% fibroblasts reprogram to neural stem cells
  • Reproducible: Technique independently verified
  • Cost effective: A cell culture method using small-molecule compounds
  • Fast: Method (7-14 days).


Induced neural stem cells provide opportunities for research applications in:

  1. Drug screening and development
  2. Diagnostic product development
  3. Regenerative cell therapy products.

Despite remarkable progress in stem cell research, clinical use of induced stem cells poses ethical issues (eg use of embryonic stem cells) and potential safety risks (eg use of oncogenic transcription factors). In addition there is low reprogramming efficiency of stem cells.


Human and mouse fibroblasts and human urine cells can be fully reprogrammed into induced multipotent neural stem cells using small-molecule compounds.

Stage of development: preclinical (in vitro).

Potential markets

  • Research reagents
  • Diagnostics (eg drug screening)
  • Disease modelling
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Neural stem cell-based treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.

IP Status

The technology has been filed as an Australian Provisional Patent Application: PCT/AU2012/001525, “Method of Producing Mulitpotent Stem Cells”.