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From: QualityStocks (Rep: 4)Date: 04/12/2013 11:00
Forum: International Stem Cell Corporation - Msg #107Thread #673517434 (Rec: 0)
International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) Scores Major Goal with Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

International Stem Cell Corp. has scored a major goal in the use of stem cells for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a debilitating disorder, involving a progressive degeneration of dopamine producing neurons in the central nervous system. Traditional treatments simply attempt to replace the lost dopamine, which can help at first but, as symptoms grow worse, its efficacy declines, leaving many patients severely disabled.

In a recent study, positive animal data reported by ISCO has established that Parkinson’s symptoms can be successfully treated with the company’s unique parthenogenetic stem cell derived neuronal cells, a huge accomplishment. Previous moves to treat Parkinson’s with implanted neuronal cells involved cells from human fetuses, which presents ethical issues. In addition, fetal neuronal cell transplantation causes a movement disorder known as dyskinesia in some patients.

ISCO’s parthenogenetic pluripotent human stem cells are derived from unfertilized eggs, avoiding the use or destruction of viable human embryos. Such cells can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals with minimal immune rejection. ISCO Executive VP of Business Development, Dr. Simon Craw, commented that ISCO is the only company with this technology, and maintains a broad intellectual property portfolio with strong patent protection.

The tests, reported by ISCO researchers at the American Academy of Neurology, showed that animals treated with the cells moved more normally, consistent with cell survival and the release of dopamine, and that dopamine was being produced months after treatment. The study also found that many of the injected stem cells remained as neurons and provided a type of neuroprotection in the brain. In addition, no adverse events, including dyskinesia, deformations, tumors, or overgrowth, were observed in the treatment groups.

Dr. Evan Snyder, co-author of the study and director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology Program at Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, says the pilot study represents a “first essential step in bringing cell-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease to clinical trials.” ISCO has submitted a preclinical plan to the FDA, outlining additional safety and toxicology studies remaining to be done, with the goal of beginning human testing in 2014.

Besides Parkinson’s disease, ISCO’s other therapeutic programs include metabolic liver diseases and cornea transplants.

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