In a recent shareholder update, ISCO’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Simon Craw drew attention to the company’s strong financial performance and clinical achievements in 2013. Craw said that these factors were strong indicators of where he expects ISCO to be headed in 2014.
For key indicators of company performance in 2013, Craw pointed to three indicators: ISCO’s growth of full-year revenue by 35 percent, successful cost containment, and achievement of a slew of research and development milestones that bode well for the future. For full-year performance, ISCO reported revenues of $6.15 million and a full-year net loss of $10.5 million ($0.09 per share), up from a full-year net loss of $9.8 million in 2012 ($0.013 per share). Notably, on the call ISCO’s CFO Jay Novak reinforced that the company’s careful cost control had kept the company from a more pronounced net loss in the face of its substantial research and development efforts.
In a business update issued in mid-March, Dr. Andrey Semechkin, company CEO and board Co-chairman, touched upon ISCO’s pre-IND meeting with the FDA for its Parkinson’s disease cell therapy, and its plans for completion of the FDA’s required pharmacology and safety studies by this year’s end. Afterward, he noted, ISCO plans to file the IND for the potentially groundbreaking therapeutic solution. For business plan execution, Semechkin said that ISCO was committed to growing its commercial subsidiaries while maintaining strong efforts toward cutting costs.
ISCO’s Parkinson’s disease program incorporates usage of human parthenogenetic neural stem cells (hPNSCs), which are derived from ISCO’s proprietary histocompatible human pluripotent stem cells (hpSCs). In the words of the company, this cutting-edge cellular product comprises “self-renewing multipotent cells that are precursors for the major cells of the central nervous system.” In laymen’s terms, the ability of hPNSC to be differentiated into key neurons, and to be expressed as key neurotrophic factors for protection of the nigrostriatal system of the human brain, offers strong potential for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
At the heart of ISCO’s therapeutic application, development, and commercialization efforts is its core technology, parthenogenesis. The technology uses unfertilized human eggs, or oocytes, for creation of hpSCs. These stem cells are said to hold tremendous therapeutic potential for tens of millions of patients with severe diseases of the eye, nervous system, or liver.
For long-term market positioning, ISCO has adopted a novel business model for the biotech space. The company leverages business units that generate revenue from the sale of products developed from scientific discoveries made by its research team. Currently, ISCO leverages two subsidiaries, Lifeline Skin Care and Lifeline Cell Technology for self-sustainment of current R&D efforts and short-term, practical applications of its core technologies.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation says that 7-10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease. Around one million of these people live in just the United States; more than the combined amount of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular distrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. With ISCO’s Parkinson’s disease program on the rise, Parkinson’s disease patients may be given a groundbreaking answer to their affliction.
For more information, visit www.internationalstemcell.com
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