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The Critical Value of Parthenogenetic Stem Cells from International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)

Parthenogenesis is a term that comes from the Greek word for virgin, parthenos, and genesis, from the Greek word gignesthai, meaning to be born. It’s a good descriptive name for the powerful new stem cell technology developed by International Stem Cell Corporation.

Unlike embryonic stem cells, generated from early stage embryos, parthenogenesis utilizes unfertilized human eggs to create what are called parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC). By using unfertilized human eggs, the cells inherit a duplicate set of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. This significantly reduces the possibility of the derived cells being rejected by an individual’s immune system, making a single cell line suitable for treating millions of individuals. As a result, these unique parthenogenetic stem cells can be immune-matched to millions of persons of differing sexes and racial backgrounds. A relatively small number of hpSC lines could provide sufficient immune-matched cells to cover large parts of the world’s population.

The goal of ISCO is to use this remarkable new source of stem cells to treat a variety of severe diseases, where cell therapy is of value but where the availability of safe immune-matched human cells is limited.

• Treatment of Parkinson’s – 60,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone, the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease.
• Treatment of Liver Damage – 30,000 deaths are reported each year, with estimates of yearly direct health care costs for chronic and acute liver disease in the U.S. ranging from $60 billion to over $100 billion.
• Cornea Tissue Implants - There are approximately ten million people in the world who are blind because they have damaged their cornea, representing a large unmet medical need.

In support of their therapeutic programs, ISCO is focused on expanding their bank of parthenogenetic stem cell lines, enrolling egg donors and optimizing their methodology for the creation of additional HLA homozygous lines. UniStemCell bank is the life science industry’s first collection of non-embryonic histocompatible human stem cells available for research and commercial use.

For additional information, visit the company’s website at www.internationalstemcell.com

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