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International Stem Cell rallies on enrollment of first US donor for stem cell bank

May 20, 2011 10:13 AM ET
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International Stem Cell Corp (OTCBB:ISCO) said Thursday it has now enrolled the first US-based donor for its stem cell bank program in the country.

Shares of the Oceanside, California-based company rose more than 7.5% today, to trade at $1.14 as of 12:50pm EST.

The company holds the world's largest collection of research-grade human parthenogenetic stem cell (hpSC) lines, which it uses along with its partners to investigate cellular therapies for a number of incurable human diseases.

The stem cells are derived using the company's parthenogenetic technology, which is a method used to create human stem cells from unfertilized eggs, therefore avoiding the destruction of viable human embryos.

Parthenogenetic cells have the capacity to become almost any cell type in the body, and have also demonstrated they are better in terms of the immune system, as these stem cells can be genetically matched to a particular person, avoiding immune rejection.

The idea is to establish a US bank of the company's clinical-grade human parthenogenetic stem cells that will be capable of being immune-matched to millions of patients.

"Enrolling our first donor is a key milestone towards our goal of creating a bank of clinical-grade pluripotent human stem cells with the ability to immune-match millions of patients," said vice president, Dr. Simon Craw.

"It is extremely exciting to start this new phase of development, and I look forward to making new clinical-grade hpSC lines available to medical researchers around the world."

International Stem Cell Corp already has a collection of ten human parthenogenetic stem cell lines used for research purposes, which were derived outside the US.

These cell lines, as well as the new clinical-grade lines that will be produced in the US, will be used to target new treatments for a host of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. The company has already successfully used its parthenogenetic stem cells to create liver cells.

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