International Stem Cell Corporation and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York Announce Breakthrough in Creating an Abundant and Ethical New Source of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Oceanside, Calif., October 27, 2009 — International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO, www.internationalstemcell.com) and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York (RMA of New York) have shown that immature, unfertilized human eggs can be used to create “parthenotes” from which human parthenogenetic stem cell lines may be derived. Immature eggs are normally discarded during standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures due to their inability to create an embryo. This discovery vastly increases the opportunity for ISCO to create new stem cell lines and hastens the time when “banks” of stem cells that match a patient’s immune system may be available. This vision of a “patient matched stem cell bank” could function similarly to how blood banks currently store and distribute blood products.
A “parthenote” results when an egg divides without using sperm (no fertilization) and can yield “parthenogenetic” stem cells that have similar medical potential as embryonic stem cells to create various human tissues for therapy yet have the additional medical advantage of allowing immune-matching to reduce the chance of rejection - a significant potential problem with the use of embryonic stem cells. Parthenogenesis also addresses critical ethical issues by eliminating the need to use fertilized embryos.
According to Dr. Alan Copperman, Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, “This scientific breakthrough opens many new opportunities for our clinical and scientific teams to explore. Transforming immature oocytes into stem cell lines capable of differentiating into a variety of cell types has the potential to revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine.”
Dr. Copperman is an accomplished infertility specialist who practices at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York and is a member of ISCO’s Scientific Advisory Board.
This ground-breaking work was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s 65th Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, GA on October 19, 2009.
Jason Barritt, PhD, Scientific Director of RMA of New York noted, “This work shows that immature oocytes that are normally unusable and discarded in standard IVF procedures may be used for scientific innovation and clinical application. Using a currently experimental technique, these oocytes can be matured, frozen and thawed and used to produce parthenotes that may be instrumental for the study and derivation of parthenogenetic stem cells. I want to add that we are very grateful to our patients who have made this work possible by donating unused immature oocytes.”
ISCO’s technology, called parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human parthenogenetic stem cell lines from unfertilized human eggs. This new methodology offers the potential to create the first stem cell bank composed of stem cell lines that can be immune-matched to large segments of the population. ISCO also produces and sells the Lifeline brand of specialized cells and growth media worldwide for therapeutic research through its wholly-owned subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology.
According to Jeffrey Janus, Senior VP of ISCO and CEO of Lifeline Cell Technology, “The accomplishments of Drs. Copperman and Barritt and the ISCO research team have expanded the potential that parthenogenetic stem cells will be an important part of discovering and providing cures for many devastating diseases. We are fortunate to be working with such noted and respected researchers and clinicians.”
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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About Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York:
RMA of New York is the reproductive endocrinology and infertility division of Mount Sinai Medical Center and has been caring for patients in the midtown Manhattan location since 2001, with additional locations in Westchester and Long Island. RMA of New York is a full-service fertility center that consistently achieves high live birth rates, while maintaining low rates of triplet and higher birth outcomes. Highly individualized patient care is offered through seven reproductive endocrinologists, a urologist, a complementary care team of a clinical psychologist and a licensed clinical social worker, and highly qualified staff. For more information, please call 212.756.5777 or visit www.rmany.com.
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
The Investor Relations Group