Dr. Denis O. Rodgerson, Director of Grants and Academic Liaison for NeoStem, added, "We are pleased that we have met our interim milestones and NIH has agreed to award us funding for the second year of these studies on bone regeneration by using VSEL™ stem cells."Periodontitis is a severe form of periodontal disease, which is prevalent in the U.S. and affects up to 90% of the world population. The most severe cases of periodontal disease affect between 5% and 15% of the U.S. population, or between 15 and 47 million Americans. The incidence of new cases of periodontal disease is estimated to be between 1 and 3 million Americans annually, and growing at a 7% rate each year. Studies have shown that periodontal inflammation could have a role in the initiation or progression of coronary heart disease and stroke. Market research experts have estimated that severe periodontal disease represents a market between $1.25 and $1.5 billion annually. This research is supported by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 5R44DE022493-03. 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. About VSEL™ Technology Human very small embryonic-like (VSEL) cells are a resident population of multipotent stem cells in the bone marrow involved in the turnover and regeneration of tissues. VSEL™ Technology offers the potential to go beyond the paracrine effect, yielding cells that actually differentiate into the target tissue and create true cellular regeneration. 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. In addition to periodontitis, NeoStem and its academic partners are exploring the potential for VSELs™ in osteoporosis and bone health improvement, bone regeneration, acute radiation syndrome, macular degeneration and glaucoma, chronic wound healing, and motor neuron repair. NeoStem has a worldwide exclusive license to the VSEL™ Technology from the University of Louisville.