CARLSBAD, Calif. (July 20, 2011) – International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB: ISCO) announced today the initiation of a series of preclinical animal studies of neuronal cells derived from ISCO’s proprietary pluripotent stem cells.
The studies will evaluate the in vivo safety and tumorigenicity of neuronal cells derived from ISCO's proprietary human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC), as well as their ability to develop into functioning dopaminergic neuron–like cells, a key milestone towards creating a cell-based therapy for Parkinson's Disease (PD).
ISCO uses unfertilized oocytes to create human parthenogenetic stem cells, an approach that offers a number of distinct advantages over other types of human stem cells. Like human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), hpSCs are pluripotent, and thus have the capacity to become almost any cell type in the body. However, unlike hESCs, hpSCs can be created in a form such that cells from a single donor can be immunologically matched to millions of individuals.
Because no human embryos are ever damaged or destroyed in creating ISCO’s cells, they also avoid the ethical issues associated with embryonic hESC cells. ISCO maintains the world’s largest collection of research-grade hpSC lines.
Dr. Andrey Semechkin, the CEO of ISCO, comments: “The ability of neuronal cells to become a specific type of neuron is one of the most important properties that these cells must have to be used in cell-based therapy of neurological disorders. These studies will bring us one step closer to our goal of being able to treat PD.”
Parkinson’s disease is a disease of the central nervous system that affects millions of people worldwide. PD patients present a range of possible symptoms, some of which are known to be as a result of the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the mid brain. ISCO’s approach is first to derive neuronal cells successfully from hpSC and, second, to evaluate their safety, functionality and efficacy using a series of in-house in vitro and in vivo models.
About International Stem Cell Corporation
International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at www.internationalstemcell.com .
Statements pertaining to anticipated developments, the potential production and benefits of stem cell lines, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products and the management of collaborations, regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements.