NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) today announced it has retained Eliseo Oreste Salinas, MD, MSc, on an exclusive basis, to help formulate and execute the clinical translation and product development strategy for the Company's proprietary HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural stem cells). Dr. Salinas was most recently Executive Vice President, Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer at Elan Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience and expertise developing therapeutic products for central nervous system (CNS) disorders in many key jurisdictions worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Japan. "With two early stage clinical trials in the brain successfully completed and two other trials underway in the spinal cord and the eye, we have reached an important inflection point in our pioneering efforts to bring neural stem cell-based therapeutics into clinical practice," said Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells, Inc. "Eliseo will help us prioritize and right size our product development strategy and help us build a world class development team to bring this exciting technology to market. His broad CNS experience includes Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, and stroke. To date, he has been responsible for eight successful NDAs or BLAs and four successful European submissions. This global regulatory experience should prove invaluable as we build on our great science and early clinical data to accelerate the transition into product development." StemCells has a broad and expanding clinical development program for its HuCNS-SC cells. The Company has ongoing Phase I/II clinical trials in chronic thoracic spinal cord injury and dry age-related macular degeneration, and is planning for a controlled Phase II study in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. In addition, as contemplated by the recently announced awards by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Company anticipates pursuing INDs for both cervical spinal cord injury and Alzheimer's disease over the next four years.