International Stem Cell Corp., developers of human parthenogenic stem cells (hpSCs), a new class of non-embryonic stem cells that has the best characteristics of each of the other classes of stem cells, is focused on using hpSCs to treat severe diseases of the eye, the nervous system, and the liver, where cell therapy has been proven clinically yet is limited by the availability of safe, immune-matched human cells.
Parthenogenic stem cells hold great promise for stem cell regenerative medicine by addressing the critical issue of immune-rejection, the problem of finding cells that have the right chemical structure so as not to be rejected by the patient. Parthenogenesis utilizes unfertilized human eggs to create stem cells that can be immune-matched to millions of persons of differing sexes and racial backgrounds. As a result, a relatively small number of hpSC lines could provide sufficient immune-matched cells to cover large parts of the world’s population. This opens the possibility of successful treatment of those above mentioned diseases where cell therapy works but is severely restricted due to the problem of immune matching.
Each of these diseases and health needs represents a major potential market for ISCO:
• Brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s which is diagnosed in approximately 60,000 Americans annually
• Liver diseases, causing 30,000 U.S. deaths annually
• Cornea transplants, received by roughly 50,000 Americans each year
• Diabetes, suffered by over 25 million Americans
Globally, the figures associated with these diseases are far greater, even more so when considering the number of people in developing countries that need things like corneal transplants but never actually get them. ISCO is actively engaged in the pre-clinical stage of research and development for parthenogenic stem cell based treatments of these and other diseases.
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