International Stem Cell and Absorption Systems Confirm Results Showing Stem Cell Derived Corneal Tissue as an Alternative to Animals for Drug Testing

Other Tests Show Tissue's Ability to Focus Light, Pointing to Potential Therapeutic Applications

OCEANSIDE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2010 - International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), www.internationalstemcell.com, the first company to perfect a method of creating human “parthenogenetic” stem cells from unfertilized eggs, announces the results of a second set of experiments confirming that its lab-grown corneal tissue closely mimics the drug absorption and drug metabolism characteristics found in normal corneal tissue. Other tests show that the stem cell derived corneal tissue refracts light, thus providing a further indication of its potential therapeutic value in treating corneal injury and disease.

Two sets of collaborative experiments between ISCO and Absorption Systems have now shown that corneal tissue cultured by ISCO exhibits topical drug absorption barrier properties and tissue-appropriate enzymatic activity, making it a promising model for studying human ocular drug absorption as an alternative to live animal testing. ISCO's human corneal tissue is created in the laboratories of its wholly owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology (Walkersville, MD).

In a second set of tests conducted by a third party expert, a beam of diverging light was projected through the corneal tissue from different distances, becoming more or less refracted with the changing distance, showing that the corneal tissue was clear and had optical properties that allow the focusing of light. Additional experiments will be conducted to better define these optical characteristics.

According to Jeffrey Janus, Senior VP of ISCO and CEO of Lifeline, “We are very excited to confirm our initial results showing drug absorption that correlates with animal models and add to these results the observation of enzymatic activity. This not only advances our plans to manufacture a product that can be used to reduce the need for tests that use living animals, but it also is one more step toward the potential therapeutic use of this tissue as a treatment for human corneal injury or disease. This has implications, not only in the US, but also in India and Asia, where millions of people suffer from corneal blindness that now goes untreated. The experiments showing light refraction are a tempting indication that this tissue will have therapeutic application.”

“There is a large commercial need for a predictive and reproducible non-animal method for testing the safety of ophthalmic drugs and consumer products,” said Patrick M. Dentinger, President and CEO of Absorption Systems. “The combined knowledge and expertise of ISCO and Absorption Systems have allowed us to take a step forward toward addressing an unmet need in the field of ophthalmology by creating a unique in vitro model to study human ocular drug absorption without using animals. Our collaboration with ISCO underscores our commitment to helping bring safe drugs to market.”

The collaboration between Absorption Systems and ISCO uses Absorption Systems' know-how in creating and characterizing assay systems to develop superior preclinical methods of testing drugs. Such methods can also reduce the use of laboratory animals currently necessary for other tests, including safety testing of consumer products.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB):

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. More information is available at ISCO's website, www.internationalstemcell.com.

ABOUT ABSORPTION SYSTEMS:

Absorption Systems, founded in 1996, assists pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies in identifying and overcoming ADMET (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity) barriers in the development of drugs, biologics and medical devices. The company's mission is to continually develop innovative research tools that can be used to accurately predict human outcomes or to explain unanticipated human outcomes when they occur. The CellPort Technologies® platform, a suite of human cell-based tests systems for drug transporter characterization, exemplifies Absorption Systems' commitment to innovation. Absorption Systems has facilities near Philadelphia, PA, and in San Diego, CA, and serves customers throughout the world. For information on the company's comprehensive contract services and applied research programs, please visit http://www.absorption.com.

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements pertaining to anticipated technological developments and therapeutic applications, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

 

Contact: International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman, 760-940-6383
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com
or
Brian Lundstrom, President, 760-640-6383
bl@intlstemcell.com

 

Posted: May 2010

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