Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Video: Summary of Recent Developments in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine from Kenneth Aldrich, Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation

Greetings. This is Ken Aldrich, I am Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation and thought I would share with you briefly some of the thoughts that I’ve had recently about developments in the stem cell and regenerative medicine area. One of the things that I have noticed from a lot of emails that we get, there is a fair amount of confusion out there about the significance of some of the new events that have taken place.

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.

Thank you.

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