International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO:OTCQB), a California-based biotechnology company developing novel stem cell-based therapies, announced that it was awarded the Presidential Poster of Distinction by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) at the 64th Annual Liver Meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Company’s metabolic liver disease program is focused on the development of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs)-derived hepatocytes cells (HLCs) with enhanced immune compatibility profiles. ISCO presented data from its pre-clinical study, which demonstrated that transplantation of hpSC-derived HLCs elicits a significant decrease and long-term stabilization of bilirubin levels in the serum of Gunn rats, a well-established animal model of Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 1 (CN1). Furthermore, at four months following treatment, the study did not detect any adverse safety signals.
CN1 is a rare inherited liver-based metabolic disorder affecting the metabolism of bilirubin. The disorder results in high levels of unconjugated bilirubin and often leads to brain damage in infants.
This pre-clinical study provides evidence of the safety and efficacy of hpSC-derived HLCs as a source of transplantable cells for the treatment of metabolic liver disorders. The Company expects that its experience and studies with HLC transplantation for CN1 could be used to develop therapeutic strategies for more common inherited liver diseases.
ISCO is focused on the therapeutic applications of hpSCs and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. The Company's proprietary technology is based on the creation of stem cells through parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction that involves the stimulation of a human oocyte (egg) to start the cell division process without actual fertilization. Since the eggs are not fertilized, no viable human embryo is created nor destroyed for the generation of ISCO’s hpSC lines. The Company believes that these therapeutic stem cells avoid the safety, economic, and ethical concerns inherent with existing stem cell technologies.
ISCO has focused its therapeutic efforts in three markets where cell therapy has been clinically proven, but where there is a shortage of safe cells or tissue: (1) Parkinson’s disease (PD); (2) inherited metabolic liver diseases; and (3) corneal blindness. ISCO is also developing a stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, and produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care.
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