Monday, October 5, 2009

International Stem Cell Corporation and Absorption Systems Announce Potential Stem Cell Alternative to Live Animal Testing for Corneal Damage

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO)(, the first company to perfect a method of creating human "parthenogenetic" stem cells from unfertilized eggs, announces positive results of its collaboration with Absorption Systems to study ISCO's stem-cell-derived human corneal tissue as an alternative to live animals for drug testing. Initial results using non-animal or "in vitro" tests indicate an excellent correlation between the rates at which drugs pass through ISCO's lab-grown corneal tissue and rabbit corneal tissue. The results offer great promise for reducing the use of living animals for eye safety testing. ISCO's human corneal tissue is created from parthenogenetic stem cells in the laboratories of Lifeline Cell Technology (Walkersville, MD), ISCO's wholly-owned subsidiary.

According to Dr. Chris Bode of Absorption Systems. "The rank order correlation of the eight drugs tested so far is almost perfect."

The collaboration between the companies is focused on using Absorption Systems' know-how in creating assay systems to develop superior preclinical methods of testing drugs. Such methods can also reduce the use of laboratory animals currently necessary for other tests, including the very large global commercial need for a reliable and reproducible non-animal method for eye safety testing of consumer products.

In the past, researchers have grown corneal cells in the laboratory, but ISCO is believed to be the only company to grow a self-assembling corneal construct from parthenogenetic stem cells that is suitable for toxicity testing and possibly suitable for corneal transplants. ISCO's corneal constructs include cell layers and structures normally found in a human cornea, as confirmed by an independent third-party laboratory. ISCO's proprietary lines of parthenogenetic stem cells remove the need for fertilized embryos and, in a therapeutic setting, may minimize the threat of immune rejection. This breakthrough was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cloning & Stem Cells (Volume 9, Number 3; September 2007:432-449 and, Volume 10, Number 1; March 2008: 11-24).

"These initial experiments are very encouraging and will be followed up with more extensive testing. Absorption Systems' proficiency in performing tissue-based assays may provide a powerful and unique drug testing model for the large commercial markets in the pharmaceutical industry and the field of ophthalmology," commented Jeffrey Janus, Senior VP of ISCO and CEO of Lifeline. "In addition, this work complements ISCO's effort to use its parthenogenetic stem cells to create cell transplant therapies for diseases of the eye. We plan to further develop our corneal tissue technology with a goal of routinely growing living human corneas for ultimate use in human corneal transplants."

"ISCO's corneal construct, combined with Absorption Systems' expertise in assessing drug disposition, may provide pharmaceutical and ophthalmology researchers with new insight, without the need for animal models," said Patrick M. Dentinger, President and CEO of Absorption Systems. "Absorption Systems' services yield the type of definitive data expected by the FDA, so we believe that our combined products will be of great interest to researchers studying diseases of the eye."

For more news and information on International Stem Cell Corporation please visit where you can find the CEO's video, a fact sheet on the company, investor presentations, and more.


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:

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Founded in 1996 by Patrick Dentinger and Ismael J. Hidalgo, Ph.D., Absorption Systems, LP focuses on performing assays that can predict the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity (ADMET) of small molecules using a variety of in vitro, in situ, and in vivo biological models. Absorption Systems supports these assays with state-of–the-art bioanalytical capabilities and preclinical formulation services. For more information, visit:


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

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman, CEO
William B. Adams, Co-Founder, 760-940-6383
Jeffrey Janus, 760-940-6383
CEO, Lifeline Cell Technology
Senior VP, International Stem Cell Corporation
The Investor Relations Group
Media Relations:
Laura Colontrelle, 212-825-3210
Schwartz Communications
Andrea tenBroek or Wendy Mejia, 781-684-0770

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