Thursday, August 26, 2010
According to ISCO’s Chairman Ken Aldrich, “Because we have never depended on federal or state money to fund our research, the new ruling is simply not applicable to any of our programs in the US or any of our international efforts. Although we believe anything that restricts legitimate scientific research is detrimental to science and our Country and hope the ruling is quickly reversed, the ruling could in a strange way benefit ISCO by creating additional incentives for researchers to use our parthenogenetic stem cell lines.”
Because ISCO’s technology, parthenogenesis, does not destroy or damage a viable human embryo, its parthenogenetic stem cell lines (“hpSC”) offer an alternative way to continue research previously done with embryonic cell lines without raising ethical issues about the destruction of life. Published peer-reviewed papers have shown hpSC to be “pluripotent”, a characteristic shared with embryonic stem cells that allows them to become tissues leading to all the cells found in the human body. Therefore, ISCO’s hpSC lines offer an alternative to the ethical issues that continue to be problematic for embryonic stem cells.
When enacted, legislation prohibiting the creation of a human embryo for research purposes prohibited both successful methods, such as fertilization, as well as less understood methods such as parthenogenesis. Parthenogenetic methods since developed by ISCO do not create human embryos that could become viable human beings, yet can result in pluripotent hpSC lines with potential therapeutic value. “The recent court ruling may cause Congress to revisit its legislation. If so, then ISCO’s research showing its hpSC lines present an alternative to embryonic stem cells, without raising the ethical concerns about the creation or destruction of viable human life, may lead to Congress allowing federal funding of hpSC in future legislation. ISCO would then be free to provide hpSC lines to federally-funded researchers and move more of our work back into the US from foreign jurisdictions”, said Jeffrey Janus, Senior Vice President of ISCO and one of its founders.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB)
International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). These proprietary cells avoid ethical issues associated with use or destruction of viable human embryos and, unlike all other major stem cell types, can be immune matched and be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals across racial groups. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, develops a line of cosmeceutical products via its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care and advances novel human stem cell-based therapies where cells have been proven to be efficacious but traditional small molecule and protein therapeutics do not. More information is available at ISCO's website, www.internationalstemcell.com.
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Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis
International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
Sr. Vice President, Operations
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This is Ken Aldrich and I am Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation and I thought I should comment briefly on the recent decision of the federal district court of the District of Columbia concerning stem cell research.
What the court did was to announce that it was prohibiting the use of federal funding by the NIH for embryonic stem cell research which is a major blow if the decision is upheld for the stem cell industry. It’s interesting because it actually does not affect International Stem Cell Corporation in any direct negative manner.
The truth of the matter is we have not been able to use federal funding since the very beginning of the company because of a particular provision in the Dickey Wicker amendment that specifically calls out parthenogenic stem cells as a form of embryo, in spite of the fact that they genuinely are not an embryo in fact cannot ever become any living human being and don’t involve the destruction of anything that could become human being. Nevertheless, we have always been caught up in the Dickey Wicker amendment. So we haven’t been hurt by this decision, if anything it has perhaps leveled the playing field for us a bit with the embryonic stem cell group.
But the bottom line is we don’t really think it is good for the country and we hope there will be a change. But we do hope is that perhaps this will open the political debate and as people begin to look at the broader spectrum and realize that parthenogenic stem cell, which is our stock and trade, do not involve the destruction of any embryos, it may be that the specific language of the Dickey Wicker amendment can ultimately be removed and we would then become eligible along with everyone else for federal funding through the NIH and other government programs. If so, it would be a wonderful result. In the meantime, it is a difficult time for everyone in the industry. We’ll keep you informed. Thank you
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Video: Summary of Recent Developments in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine from Kenneth Aldrich, Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation
Specifically, I have gotten a lot of requests to explain what the impact of the recent announcement by Geron Corporation that they had entered FDA human trials might be. Well frankly, it is a very, very important step and one that benefits, I think, everyone in our industry and I wanted to comment on it a little bit. What that means is that one of the companies in our field has finally found the mechanism and found the procedures to begin the process of bringing cells to the clinic through human trials. So Geron, which is one of the largest companies, and has spent an enormous amount of money developing this, is now leading the path for all of us. I think we will learn from their experiences and it will make the path getting through to the FDA a lot more productive for all of us that follow.
There is another aspect to this however, that is unique to our company, International Stem Cell Corporation, in that we have also realized that the United States in only one part of the global market. And as a result, we’ve spent a lot of energy over the last year or so exploring foreign collaborations in those areas where perhaps the US is not the most attractive market. For example, we are working in India with replacing human corneas with corneas developed from our parthenogenic stem cells. The U.S. is probably not a major market for this because our systems here in this country allow for cornea transplants rather well. But in countries like India, as well as China and Korea and other places, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to harvest corneas from cadavers and deliver them and as a result, we have a wide open market there with enormous interest. I think that is one example of how the international market will impact the development of regenerative medicine.
We’re looking at that and we are looking at a variety of other areas and I’m sure other companies are doing the same. Eventually, we are all in this boat together to try to cure major diseases. We’re delighted with the progress with the FDA from companies here. We’ll be following in those footsteps when we can and we also be hopefully be leading the way in some of the international collaborations that may make all of us better off in the world of regenerative medicine.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The following is an excerpt from the August 3, 2010 Breakthrough Technology Alert, published by Agora Financial. Agora Financial is a fully independent publisher and has no financial connections to companies listed below. Breakthrough Technology Alert's editor is industry expert . Patrick is renowned for his innovative forecasts and keeping readers "ahead of the story".
For more information about Patrick Cox and Breakthrough Technology Alert please visit www.agorafinancial.com
ISCO Collaborations Accelerate
Last week, I told you about International Stem Cell Corp.'s (OTCBB: ISCO) new European subsidiary, ISCO Europe. That announcement closely followed an announced alliance with a leading Indian provider of corneal transplants. Now ISCO has announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement for its Lifeline brand of human cell culture products in India.
Jeffrey Janus, senior vice president of operations of ISCO and CEO of its subsidiary Lifeline, said in a press release, Sristi Biosciences is part of one of the most experienced biotechnology companies in India and the first to advance cell therapy into human trials in that country. Their network among academic and corporate researchers and experience and capacity to import and handle primary cell cultures, media and growth factors in India will be highly valuable for Lifeline to continue the international commercial expansion of its brand.
For transformational profits,