Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Article from North County Times - BIOTECH: International Stem Cell Clears Debt, Gets Patent

By BRADLEY J. FIKES - | Posted: June 15, 2010 3:21 pm |

OCEANSIDE ---- For the first time in years, International Stem Cell Corp. has cleared its balance sheet of debt and has enough cash to last for "another year or so," the company's chairman said in a conference call Tuesday.

The improved finances means International Stem Cell can focus more attention on advancing its technology to create stem cells from unfertilized, or "parthenogenetic," human egg cells, said chairman Kenneth Aldrich.

"We've not had that kind of financial security of knowing we could see forward for 12 months without having to go back to the markets since probably the summer of '07, so it's a most welcome change for us," Aldrich said in the conference call.

The company said in a June 14 filing that it struck debt-reduction deals with investors Socius CG II Ltd. and Optimus Capital Partners LLC. The deals exchanged stock previously issued to the investors for promissory notes, with no cash changing hands.

Aldrich said the company reached another important milestone earlier this month when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted it a patent for its parthenogenetic stem cell technology. The patent is the first of several pending, Aldrich said.

Stem cells are the "ancestral" cells that turn in the various kinds of cells in the body. Companies are studying how to use them for disease treatments, or to screen drugs before they're tested in humans.

International Stem Cell says its stem cells have the advantage of being immune-matched to large segments of the population. That means any replacement tissues or organs created from them will be less likely to be rejected after transplant, the company says.

Also, because they are not derived from human embryos, the cells don't raise the ethical issues that concern many about embryonic stem cells, taken from days-old embryos.

The patent, number 7,732,202, applies to the company's method of creating its parthenogenetic stem cells. Other pending patents concern how to make stem cells that can be immune-matched.

International Stem Cell trades over the counter under the ticker ISCO.

Visit or call 760-940-6383.

Call staff writer Bradley J. Fikes at 760-739-6641. Read his blogs at


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