Ken Aldrich, Executive Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation [OTC:ISCO] was interviewed by OneMedRadio where he discussed the company’s regenerative medicine therapies.
Brett Johnson: Good day, this is Brett Johnson in New York City with OneMedRadio. Today, I am with Ken Aldrich. He is the co-founder and executive chairman for International Stem Cell, symbol ISCO on the bulletin board. It is a Carlsbad, California company in the stem cell business. Ken, thanks for joining us today.
Kenneth Aldrich: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
BJ: Ken, go ahead and tell us a little bit about the business of International Stem Cell and what you guys are doing that’s unique and distinctive.
KA: I’d be happy to. International Stem Cell is in the regenerative medicine business broadly speaking. We produce and develop therapies that are based on what are called pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cell simply means a stem cell that can be converted (the technical word is differentiated) into any cell in the body and theoretically treat any kind of disease that can be treated with cell therapy.
There are today basically only two ways to create a pluripotent stem cell. One is what’s been around for ten years called embryonic stem cells derived from a fertilized human embryo, and the other is parthenogenesis, which is our own creation, our own patent. Our people really developed it from the very beginning.
They function very much the same but we have two unique advantages. One, we take the ethical issue right off the table. We do not use a fertilized egg and we never damage or destroy anything that could become a human being. And second, the DNA that results when we go through that process of using only an unfertilized egg is a much simpler DNA structure. It’s complete, but simpler in its form. It enables us to use a single cell line from a single donor to match very large numbers of people. So it gives us the potential a few years down the road to have a true stem cell bank. And by that I don’t mean the banking of somebody’s own cells, but a bank much like a blood bank in which any patient who needs stem cells can come, get cells that will match their immune system and thereby eliminate or reduce the need for immunosuppressant drugs.
We think ultimately that’s going to be the single defining differentiator for our company because a cell transplant is like a miniature organ transplant. If the body rejects it, there’s no benefit, and we’re working on a way to provide cells that anyone can use at any time for any disease that any scientist is smart enough to figure out a way to treat with cells. It’s a tall order but we think we’re up to it.
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