The identification of normal and cancerous stem cells and the recent advances made in isolation and culture of stem cells have rapidly gained attention in the field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine. The prospect of performing screens aimed at proliferation, directed differentiation, and toxicity and efficacy studies using stem cells offers a reliable platform for the drug discovery process. Advances made in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from normal or diseased tissue serves as a platform to perform drug screens aimed at developing cell-based therapies against conditions like Parkinson's disease and diabetes. This review discusses the application of stem cells and cancer stem cells in drug screening and their role in complementing, reducing, and replacing animal testing. In addition to this, target identification and major advances in the field of personalized medicine using induced pluripotent cells are also discussed.
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