NEWARK, Calif., March 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM), a leading stem cell company developing and commercializing novel cell-based therapeutics and tools for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery, today provided a business update and reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. "2012 was an eventful and positive year for StemCells, Inc.," said Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells, Inc. "We published a broad array of meaningful preclinical and clinical data demonstrating the therapeutic potential of our proprietary HuCNS-SC® cells to address a wide range of CNS indications, and continue to make progress in all our programs. The year began with the publication of the preclinical data underlying our clinical trial for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and late in the year we published two papers demonstrating the potential applicability of our cells for a range of myelination disorders, including the data from our Phase I clinical trial in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) showing evidence of new myelination and measurable gains in neurological function. In between those publications, we reported interim six-month data from our spinal cord injury trial showing considerable gains in sensory function in two of three patients, and last month we followed that up by reporting the 12 month data, which showed that the gains had persisted and that one patient had converted from a complete injury to an incomplete injury. Lastly, we also announced exciting preclinical data in two animal models relevant to Alzheimer's disease. "Last summer, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved our disease team application for up to $20 million for IND-enabling activities for cervical spinal cord injury. The funding would have been in the form of a loan, but we have elected not to borrow these funds from CIRM. We remain committed to pursuing the development of our human neural stem cells for traumatic spinal cord injury, particularly in light of the encouraging data we recently announced from the first patient cohort, who have now completed the Phase I/II study underway in Switzerland. Separately, we remain in active discussion with CIRM concerning the terms and conditions that might apply for a loan to help fund preclinical and IND-enabling activities for Alzheimer's disease."