PALO ALTO, Calif. — StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) announced today that results pertaining to the Company’s research programs in retinal degeneration as well as spinal cord injury will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting scheduled for November 15-19, 2008 in Washington, DC. The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization devoted to advancing understanding of the brain and nervous system. Its annual meeting is one of the leading forums for neuroscientists from around the world to present and discuss cutting-edge research in the field.
Raymond Lund, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, will present data showing that transplantation of HuCNS-SC(R) cells can prevent loss of vision and demonstrate long-term engraftment in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat, a well-established animal model of retinal degeneration. The Company has an ongoing research collaboration with Dr. Lund for preclinical research in retinal degeneration.
The Company also has a research collaboration for preclinical studies in spinal cord injury with Aileen Anderson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine. Three researchers from Dr. Anderson’s lab will make presentations, including an oral presentation on Monday, November 17th, by Brian Cummings, Ph.D., an assistant professor at UC-Irvine and the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. Dr. Cummings will present data showing how HuCNS-SC cells survive and differentiate in the setting of immunosuppression and spinal cord injury, which is similar to the likely intended human clinical Environment. This study extends previous work which showed Functional recovery of spinal cord injured, immunodeficient animals following transplantation of HuCNS-SC cells.
Two other researchers from Dr. Anderson’s lab are scheduled to give poster presentations. Chris Sontag will present results showing that immunosuppression does not negatively affect Motor recovery in animals transplanted with HuCNS-SC cells. Mitra Hooshmand will present results showing the impact of HuCNS-SC transplantation immediately after spinal cord injury; these data suggest transplant timing is a key parameter for functional recovery.
About StemCells, Inc.
StemCells, Inc. is a clinical-stage Biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of cell-based therapeutics to treat diseases of the Central Nervous System and liver. The Company’s product development programs seek to repair or repopulate CNS and liver tissue that has been damaged or lost as a result of disease or injury. StemCells has pioneered the discovery and development of HuCNS-SC(R) cells, its highly purified, expandable population of human neural stem cells. StemCells has completed enrollment and dosing of a six patient Phase I clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC product candidate as a treatment for neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) and expects the trial to be completed in early 2009. NCL, which is often referred to as Batten disease, is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects infants and young children. StemCells owns or has exclusive rights to more than 50 issued or allowed U.S. patents and more than 150 granted or allowed non-U.S. patents. Further information about the Company is available on its web site at: www.stemcellsinc.com.
Apart from statements of historical fact, the text of this press release constitutes forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, the future business operations of StemCells, Inc. (the “Company”) and its ability to conduct clinical trials as well as its research and product development efforts. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof. Such statements reflect management’s current views and are based on certain assumptions that may or may not ultimately prove valid. The Company’s actual results may vary materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties to which the Company is subject, including uncertainty as to whether the FDA or other applicable regulatory agencies will permit the Company to continue clinical testing in NCL or in future clinical trials of proposed therapies for other diseases or conditions despite the novel and unproven nature of the Company’s technologies; uncertainties regarding the Company’s ability to obtain the increased capital resources needed to continue its current research and development operations and to conduct the research, preclinical development and clinical trials necessary for regulatory approvals; uncertainty regarding the validity and enforceability of the Company’s patents; uncertainty as to whether HuCNS-SC and any products that may be generated in the future in the Company’s cell-based programs will prove safe and clinically effective and not cause tumors or other adverse side effects; uncertainties regarding the Company’s manufacturing capabilities given its increasing preclinical and clinical commitments; uncertainties as to whether the Company will achieve revenues from product sales or become profitable; and other factors that are described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part II of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
StemCells, Inc. Rodney Young, 650-475-3100 ext. 105