Imagine a world where there is no donor organ shortage, victims of spinal cord injuries can walk and weakened hearts are successfully replaced; this is the future of regenerative medicine, as outlined by the National Institute of Health. To obtain the massive promises of this revolutionary treatment option, however, it is necessary to successfully overcome the barriers associated with immune response, which have, to this point, severely hampered the advancement of cell replacement therapies. International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCQB: ISCO), through the continued development of its groundbreaking parthenogenesis stem cell technology, is addressing this limitation, potentially unlocking the door to significant advances in the field of regenerative medicine.
Parthenogenesis utilizes unfertilized human eggs to create pluripotent parthogenetic stem cells (hpSC) that can be immune-matched to millions of people. According to the company’s data, a relatively small number of hpSC lines could provide sufficient immune-matched cells to cover a large percentage of the world’s population, effectively minimizing the effects of autoimmune rejection and allowing for continued research into the massive potential upside of stem cell therapy. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which require the destruction of a human embryo, hpSC treatment also avoids many of the ethical issues commonly associated with stem cell research.
ISCO has identified a collection of potential diseases and conditions that could be effectively treated using its hpSCs, but the company’s leading indication is for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s disease is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States, and an estimated four to six million people suffer from the condition worldwide. Currently, there is no cure and limited treatment options for the disease, creating a significantly underserved market within the pharmaceutical industry.
“In the first quarter of 2015 we completed all the necessary preclinical studies of our Parkinson’s program and formally submitted our application to begin the first clinical study of this novel approach to treating this debilitating disease in humans,” stated Dr. Andrey Semechkin, Chief Executive Officer of ISCO. “We continue to expect to make significant progress during the rest of 2015 towards our goal of providing a viable treatment option for people with Parkinson’s disease.”
During preclinical studies, ISCO has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of treating Parkinson’s disease symptoms in animals with transplanted human parthenogenetic neural stem cells. Moving forward, the company will seek to begin its Phase I/IIa clinical studies through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cyto Therapeutics Pty Ltd. For prospective shareholders, ISCO’s continued progression with preclinical and clinical studies makes the company an intriguing investment opportunity in the months to come.
For more information, visit www.internationalstemcell.com
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