International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) Highlighted by Seeking Alpha Article as Biotech with Strong Lead in Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s
8/17/2012 5:17:11 PM
International Stem Cell was listed first among emerging biotech alternatives in an article over at Seeking Alpha that showcased stem cell technology and other improved solutions to the largely ineffective ‘band-aid’ drug-based offerings currently out there for treating Parkinson’s. The devastating degenerative neurological disease is now estimated to be affecting a staggering 1M Americans alone (7-10M globally), with another 60k domestic cases diagnosed every year.
ISCO is on the cutting-edge of stem cell therapeutics development, with a rich portfolio of regenerative medicine technologies. The company’s recent (July 18) disclosure that they will be taking the Parkinson’s Disease Program to the next level has sent a wave through the scientific community. ISCO is proceeding with non-human primate pre-clinical work to further validate their surgical implantation procedure, and while this primate work will indeed be more costly, the solid correlation for predictive results in human physiology are worth it and ISCO anticipates talking to FDA about the IND filing/preclinical safety studies early in 2013 after initial results come out.
The pioneering work done by ISCO in developing the requisite technology for this sort of therapy is remarkable. The company has developed a process that chemically stimulates cell division in unfertilized ova (no embryo is ever created or destroyed), resulting in production of a new class of stem cells, human parthenogenic stem cells (hpSCs), which offer all the plasticity (pluripotentcy) of the best stem cells in a format that overcomes outstanding immune-matching problems. This superior class of cells has wide-ranging applications from regenerative skin-care through to promising actual treatment for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s (as well as liver damage treatment and even cornea tissue implants/replacement). Unlike existing drug-based solutions for Parkinson’s (Levodopa being the main one), which merely attempt to compensate for dopamine deficiency (related to the death of neurons in that crucial portion of the midbrain which produces dopamine), ISCO’s technology holds the promise of applying regenerative stem cell therapy for an actual cure to the underlying conditions.
In other news this week, ISCO reported recruiting two of the top minds in the field today for their Parkinson’s Disease Program: Former Assistant Professor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School Dr. Sánchez-Pernaute (one of the first to show how it is possible for Parkinson’s to be treated via parthenogenetic stem cell technology in the primate model) and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute Professor, Evan Snyder, MD, PhD, a renowned stem cell pioneer and director of Sanford-Burnham’s stem cell program/research center.
ISCO is focused on replacing dead cells with healthy cells, cells that will grow into new dopamine-producing neurons and which can do so without the threats typically presented by immune rejection after transplantation. Think of the potential for this kind of technology, using the body’s own cells to heal itself; think of how this is radically different than inputting synthetic molecule solutions in some vain attempt to stabilize an already cascade-failure type problem like that presented by Parkinson’s and other degenerative neurological diseases.
ISCO is one of the emerging leaders in tissue science in general, utilizing a novel business model with subsidiary business units like Lifeline Cell Technology and Lifeline Skin Care, which even a cursory review validates how far the company has come in producing viable, practical commercialization vectors for their breakthrough stem cell technologies.
For more information on International Stem Cell Corp., please visit the company’s website at: www.InternationalStemCell.com
To read Shrideep Murthy’s article over at Seeking Alpha, you can go to: http://seekingalpha.com/article/812171
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