Tuesday, March 10, 2009

International Stem Cell Corporation Applauds President Obama's Decision to Allow Funding of Parthenogenetic Stem Cell Research

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO) (www.intlstemcell.com), the first company to perfect a method of creating human stem cells from unfertilized eggs, applauds President Obama's signing of an executive order to allow funding of stem cell research. ISCO's unique human stem cells, called "parthenogenetic" stem cells, have ethical advantages since they do not harm a viable human embryo and have medical advantages since they can be immune matched to hundreds of millions of people across the world.

Monday, in an East Room ceremony at the White House, President Obama signed an executive order to lift the Bush administration's restrictions on federally financed human embryonic stem cell research. This decision provides Congress with an opportunity to overturn a thirteen-year-old law, called the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which specifically bans the use of tax dollars for research in which human embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury.

"Tissue-specific differentiated cells from human stem cells open up the possibility of cell-based therapy for untreatable degenerative and heredity diseases. The greatest risk posed with these cells for transplantation is that of immune rejection. Matching donor and recipient for HLA antigens is necessary for transplant survival. ISCO already has a human parthenogenetic 'HLA homozygous' stem cell line that carries the HLA type found most commonly within the US population. Tissue-specific differentiated cells from this line can be used for cell-based therapies of hundreds of millions of patients of different ages, races and sexes," says Elena Revazova, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ISCO.

"While President Obama's decision - and the opening it provides Congress regarding a reconsideration of the Dickey-Wicker amendment - is cause for celebration among medical researchers, scientists, and patients' groups alike; however the controversy surrounding stem cell use will not disappear overnight," says Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of International Stem Cell Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic and research products. "Fortunately, our stem cell lines do not require the use of fertilized embryos, and can thus avoid these ethical difficulties."

International Stem Cell Corporation is the only company to generate functional pluripotent stem cells—that is, stem cells that have the potential to turn into any type of cell or tissue—through parthenogenesis. Recently, the company reported that by using its proprietary technique, cells from a single donor could be immune matched to hundreds of millions of patients.

Since a single line of these cells may reduce immune rejection issues in large segments of the population, parthenogenetic stem cells could be enormously valuable as a treatment of choice for diseases including liver disease, heart disease, and macular degeneration, and of particular value in treating diseases with hereditary links such as diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, hemophilia, retinitis pigmentosa and many others in which cells from the patient's own body cannot be used for therapy because the patient's cells carry a corresponding genetic defect. For these patients it will likely be necessary to use HLA matched human parthenogenetic stem cell lines derived from healthy donors. "In these situations, we believe that the Parthenogenetic cells of International Stem Cell may ultimately prove to be the only viable solution," said Dr. Elena Revazova, Chief Scientist of International Stem Cell.

Based on this technology, the company has initiated an ambitious program for developing the world's first human parthenogenetic stem cell bank to serve the need for stem cell-based treatments in the general population.

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic and research products. ISCO's technology, Parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cell lines from unfertilized human eggs. ISCO scientists have created the first Parthenogenetic homozygous stem cell line (phSC-Hhom-4) that can be a source of therapeutic cells that will minimize immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. These advancements offer the potential to create the first true "Stem Cell Bank" and address ethical issues by eliminating the need to use or destroy fertilized embryos. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media worldwide for therapeutic research through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. For more information, visit the ISCO website at:
For more news and information on International Stem Cell Corporation please visit
www.IRGnews.com/coi/ISCO where you can find the CEO's video, a fact sheet on the company, investor presentations, and more.
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Statements pertaining to anticipated future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development and potential joint venture and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, 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, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or 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 these forward-looking statements.
Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis
International Stem Cell CorporationKenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman, CEO
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com760-940-6383orJeffrey Janus, Presidentjjanus@intlstemcell.com760-940-6383orThe Investor Relations Group212-825-3210Investor Relations:Adam S. Holdsworthaholdsworth@investorrelationsgroup.comorMedia Relations:Laura Colontrellelcolontrelle@investorrelationsgroup.com
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