NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), a leader in the emerging cellular therapy market, today announced the licensing of three families of patents from the University of California, San Francisco ("UCSF"). NeoStem's worldwide exclusive license to these patents provides incremental protection for the Company's human Regulatory T cell ("Treg") platform, and complements the recently announced collaboration with UCSF and the laboratories of Drs. Jeffrey Bluestone and Qizhi Tang, to develop Tregs for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, steroid resistant asthma, and organ transplant rejection. The three patent families cover methods to isolate, expand and use Tregs with therapeutic potential for autoimmune disorders, including U.S. patent 7,722,862, which claims a cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. "In the U.S., type 1 diabetes affects 1.3 million people and has an economic cost of over $14 billion, numbers which are significantly higher worldwide," said Dr. Douglas W. Losordo, Chief Medical Officer of NeoStem. "These patents bolster our existing portfolio in the Treg arena and enhance our ability to combat autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes using Treg therapy." NeoStem's patent estate for its Treg program now includes exclusive rights to 22 issued patents in U.S. and major international commercial geographies and covers isolation, activation, expansion and methods of treating or preventing certain conditions and/or diseases using Tregs. Dr. Andrew L. Pecora, Chief Visionary Officer of NeoStem, added , "We are excited about this recent expansion of our intellectual property and about the effect that our collaboration with Drs. Bluestone and Tang, industry leaders in Treg research, and UCSF will have on our Treg program." Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem, said, "This collaboration advances that program towards a Phase 2 trial to evaluate the efficacy of autologous Tregs in type 1 diabetes, effectively accelerating the Company's pipeline more quickly than had it developed a program for this clinical indication independently."