NEWARK, Calif., Sept. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) today announced the publication of a comprehensive overview describing the therapeutic potential and results from early clinical trials of the Company's proprietary HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells). The paper was published recently in Stem Cell Research & Therapy, an international peer-reviewed journal considered to be the major forum for translational research into stem cell therapies, and is part of a series about clinical applications of stem cells edited by Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, Director, NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine. "This review lays out the rationale and clinical translation strategy underlying our HuCNS-SC programs in central nervous system disorders," said Ann Tsukamoto, PhD, Executive Vice President, Scientific and Strategic Alliances at StemCells and lead author on the paper. "As a company, we have gone the extra mile to identify, prospectively purify and extensively characterize the biological activity of our neural stem cells, which has produced robust and reproducible results in a number of disease models. Our human neural stem cells are being developed for disorders of the brain, the spinal cord and the eye, so our results have been published in a number of respected journals specific to each of those areas. This paper provides an excellent summary of our data and progress to date in all areas." Eliseo Salinas, MD, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development at StemCells, added, "To our knowledge, no other cell-based therapy has shown such robust preclinical evidence of biological effect. Our data to date highlight the promise of HuCNS-SC cells to address a broad spectrum of neurological disorders, as supported by our encouraging early clinical results, and we are working diligently towards proof of principle studies in AMD, PMD and spinal cord injury." The overview describes the biological activity of the Company's HuCNS-SC cells, and explains the rationale and supporting data for pursuing neuroprotective strategies and clinical translation in a broad range of diseases and disorders of the central nervous system. The Company's preclinical studies have shown that the HuCNS-SC cells can:
- protect host neurons by providing a missing enzyme in models of lysosomal storage disease,
- produce myelin in models of dysmyelination,
- restore motor function in a spinal cord injury models,
- protect photoreceptors and preserve visual function in models of retinal degeneration, and
- improve cognitive function in models relevant to Alzheimer's disease.
- Published results from the Company's Phase I clinical study in Pelizeaus-Merzbacher disease, a rare myelination disorder, show evidence of de novo myelin production in patients transplanted with HuCNS-SC cells, and
- Interim data from the Company's ongoing Phase I/II clinical study show improved sensory function in spinal cord injured patients.
CONTACT: Rodney Young StemCells, Inc. Chief Financial Officer (510) 456-4128 Ian Stone Russo Partners (619) 308-6541