NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), an international biopharmaceutical company with a focus on cell based therapeutics development, today announced that the Department of Defense (DOD) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) of the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) has awarded NeoStem $1,780,049 to be applied towards funding the Company's VSEL™ Technology. This award will support an investigation of a unique stem cell population, Very Small Embryonic-Like (VSEL) stem cells, for its bone building and regenerative effects in the treatment of osteoporosis. The award is being made under the Company's FY2010 Technology/Therapeutic Development Award application number PR101055.
Robin Smith, M.D., MBA, NeoStem's Chairman and CEO commented, "The receipt of this grant award validates our research efforts and the promise of VSEL™ Technology in multiple clinical applications. We are thrilled that the Department of Defense has selected NeoStem and shares our excitement and vision regarding the clinical regenerative potential of our VSEL™ Technology. Awards such as these provide both non-dilutive capital and offer external peer-reviewed validation of the value of our research platform. We believe VSEL™ Technology holds great potential, beyond bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cell approaches as these cells hold the promise of natural pluripotency i.e. to differentiate into all three germ layers. As such, these cells have the potential to move the regenerative medical field beyond the classic paracrine mechanisms (neoangiogenesis and down-regulation of inflammation) toward tissue and bone repair and regeneration."
"This research effort has the potential to dramatically change the way in which osteoporosis and bone fracture is treated in the military and in the general population," said Dr. Russell Taichman, Professor of Dentistry, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry who will work with the Company on the study.
Dr. Taichman added, "Osteoporosis is a major medical condition affecting 75 million people worldwide and causing significant morbidity and mortality in the aging population and the increased incidence of fractures is the major cause of death from osteoporosis. In 2005, the estimated cost burden of fractures due to osteoporosis was $19 billion and that is expected to rise to over $25 billion by the year 2025. In addition to being a major concern for the general healthcare community, osteoporosis and related bone fractures have become a concern for the military with significant loss of duty time across all branches of the military due to related stress fractures."Dr. Denis Rodgerson, NeoStem's Director of Stem Cell Science and Principal Investigator for the study commented, "We are honored to receive this award as it enables us, together with Dr. Taichman as co-Principal Investigator and his colleague Dr. Laurie K. McCauley, Chair, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry and Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School, to explore the significant therapeutic regenerative potential for VSEL™ Technology in autologous, cell-based therapies for the treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases of the bone." NeoStem has a worldwide exclusive license to VSEL™ Technology which uses very small stem cells found in adult bone marrow that have several physical characteristics that are generally found in embryonic stem cells. NeoStem has shown that these cells can be mobilized into the peripheral blood, enabling a minimally invasive means for collecting what NeoStem believes to be a population of stem cells that the potential to achieve the positive benefits associated with embryonic stem cells without the ethical or moral dilemmas or the potential negative biological effects associated with embryonic stem cells.