"Our collaboration with Dr. Falanga, a recognized expert in the management of chronic wounds and fibrosis, offers NeoStem a solid foundation to advance its investigation into the use of human VSELs™ in treating skin wounds and a host of other degenerative diseases and disorders in humans, including scleroderma," said Dr. Denis O. Rodgerson. "This study has the potential to advance treatments that could one day help patients suffering from this and other debilitating autoimmune diseases."Dr. Vincent Falanga added, "The NIH award will allow us to explore the great potential of these very special stem cells that reside in the bone marrow and that we believe are able to convert to many other cell types and accelerate healing." "NeoStem is pleased that the NIH has awarded this funding to support NeoStem's continued development of VSEL™ Technology as a therapeutic to heal chronic dermal wounds," said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem. "We look forward to this study, as well as studies by other academic collaborators, serving as a catalyst for the Company in its investigation of VSEL™ Technology therapeutics for multiple clinical indications." NeoStem continues to develop its VSEL TM Technology platform in pre-clinical models and expects to advance into early clinical studies that assess the therapeutic potential of VSEL TM Technology in wound care, bone regeneration and/or macular restoration. Recent pre-clinical data in animal models suggest that VSELs™ may be capable of developing into cells of all three germ layers which, if substantiated by further research, could imply significant potential for restorative healing. Unlike in the case of classically defined "pluripotent" stem cells, it is believed that VSELs™ do not contribute to teratoma formation. Independent investigators in preclinical models have observed the regenerative potential of VSELs™ and NeoStem will continue to support preclinical and early clinical studies to further assess their regenerative potential. This research is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 1R43AR062432-01A1. The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.