NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), a leader in the emerging cellular therapy industry, today announced the expansion of intellectual property protection surrounding the Company's T-regulatory cell ("Treg") program with the grant of Japanese Patent Number 5409827 titled "Methods for the Isolation and Expansion of Cord Blood Derived T Regulatory Cells." This grant further expands the scope and reach of NeoStem's Treg patent estate internationally. Through its Treg program, NeoStem is developing therapies that restore immune balance by enhancing regulatory T cell number and function. NeoStem's novel approach is being advanced by collaborations with leading research teams in the field of T cell therapy, including a collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, and the laboratories of Drs. Jeffrey Bluestone and Qizhi Tang. NeoStem has a broad patent estate covering the Treg program, including over 30 issued patents and patent applications in U.S. and major international markets. In November 2013, Japan enacted the Regenerative Medicine Law and passed revisions to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, providing opportunities to accelerate the development of regenerative medicines in Japan. "We are excited to have received this patent issuance and about the recent changes in Japan which signal Japan's commitment to regenerative medicine. We look forward to exploring opportunities in Japan within the new regulatory framework to develop our regenerative medicine products in Japan and to bringing these important products to the market to meet the health needs of the Japanese people," said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem. In addition, these new Japanese regulations should be meaningful in allowing NeoStem to accelerate time to market in Japan for its cardiovascular disease program, for which NeoStem has already been granted related patent protection in Japan, should the Company pursue clinical development there.