International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), the first company to perfect a method of creating human "parthenogenetic" stem cells from unfertilized eggs, has received positive early results from animal trials designed to improve photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a form of corrective laser eye surgery that offers an improved alternative to LASIK.
PRK is generally thought to be safer and produce better long-term results than LASIK, but has not been used as frequently because of patient discomfort following surgery and a longer healing time. By combining ISCO's human corneal cells with a proprietary surgical device developed by Paul H. Chen, M.D., who is conducting the trials, ISCO and Dr. Chen believe that cellular enhanced PRK can replace LASIK for many of the hundreds of thousands of patients who now use LASIK.
The first stage animal trials just completed demonstrated that ISCO's corneal cells manufactured by ISCO's subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology, encouraged corneal-defect healing in the animals. The trials are the first step toward gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to test the efficacy of using ISCO's cells to improve healing after corneal surgery, and could result in the first FDA approved use of human cells produced by ISCO.
Jeffrey Janus, President of ISCO and CEO of Lifeline, noted that "The cells used in these trials are derived from donated human tissue processed using proprietary techniques devised by ISCO's subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology. However, ISCO's parthenogenic stem cells can also produce human corneal cells. Corneal cells derived from ISCO's parthenogenetic stem cells may provide a consistent and reliable source of corneal cells that could eliminate entirely the need for donated human tissues."
This work is being done in collaboration with Dr. Chen, who has developed the cell transfer technology. Dr. Chen is an eye surgeon at North County Laser Eye Associates, and he is on staff at Scripps Memorial La Jolla and Scripps Encinitas Hospitals.
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ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB):
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: www.internationalstemcell.com.
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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 Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman, CEO
Jeffrey Janus, President
The Investor Relations Group
Adam S. Holdsworth