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International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)
International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) specializes in the therapeutic applications of human stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based biomedical products. The company was the first to develop and perfect a new class of human stem cells called parthenogenetic stem cells, created from unfertilized human eggs. ISCO has a strong patent portfolio offering clean intellectual property and freedom to operate. The company’s stem cells present superior immune matching capabilities and can be used in millions of people regardless of sex or racial background, with minimal expectation of immune rejection after transplantation.
The company’s human stem cells have been shown to be as pluripotent as embryonic stem cells, however their creation does not involve the destruction of a viable human embryo, which effectively sidesteps the controversy and ethical dilemmas associated with the use of human embryonic stem cells. In contrast to induced pluripotent stem cells, ISCO’s stem cells do not involve manipulation of cells’ genome thereby avoiding potential safety and regulatory obstacles in clinical applications.
The company's scientists are currently focused on using its stem cells to treat severe unmet medical needs of the central nervous system (Parkinson’s disease), the liver and the eye, where cell therapy has been clinically proven but is limited due to the unavailability of safe human cells. Once the technology has been clinically validated there are an essentially unlimited number of potential applications. Because of their immune-matching ability a relatively small number of these stem cell lines could offer the potential of producing the first true stem cell bank as a means of serving populations of different immune types across the globe.
In addition to its therapeutic focus, ISCO also provides a growing revenue stream through two wholly owned subsidiaries. Lifeline Cell Technology specializes in producing primary human cells and growth media for biological research, and Lifeline Skin Care, the company manufactures and markets advanced anti-aging skincare products utilizing the company’s expertise in stem cell biology.
Key Investment Highlights
Co-Chairman and CEO - Andrey Semechkin, PhD
Dr. Semechkin is a specialist in system analysis, strategic planning and corporate management. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and has been Deputy Director of Institute of System Analysis since 2004. Professor Semechkin was awarded the Russian Government Award in Science and Technology in 2006 and has written several scientific books. He has over 20 years of experience creating and managing businesses across different industries and scientific sectors. He was CEO of X-Master Inc., a private U.S. company with real estate and other investments.
CFO and Secretary - Linh Nguyen
Ms. Nguyen has more than 17 years of experience in financial management and accounting. Previously she served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary for International Lottery & Totalizator Systems, Inc. ("ILTS"), a publicly-traded global software and system developer of lottery and optical scan voting systems. As CFO at ILTS, her responsibilities included managing all aspects of the accounting and finance functions, international financial reporting and consolidation, tax compliance, SEC reporting, and serving as a member of the executive management team in executing strategic initiatives, formulating policies and assessing financial viability of new business opportunities. Prior to being named CFO, Ms. Nguyen held various other roles at ILTS, including Director of Finance and Finance Manager. Earlier in her career, Ms. Nguyen held accounting and financial management positions with Phamatech, Inc., Osmonics, Academic Communication Associates, Inc., and AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. Ms. Nguyen received a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, from California State University, San Marcos, and is presently enrolled in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program at the University of San Diego.
VP, Business Development - Simon Craw, PhD
Dr. Craw obtained his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Manchester and began his academic career at the University of Rio de Janeiro followed by positions at the University of Sydney and the University of Manchester. He has over eighteen years experience in research and development as well as operations and information technology at Merck, AstraZeneca and Novartis and head of research and development informatics and regulatory operations at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Craw's has numerous scientific publications and has spoken at various international summits.
Senior VP and President & CEO of Lifeline Cell Technology - Jeffrey Janus
Mr. Janus is trained in biochemistry and business management and has over 20 years of experience focused on cell-based businesses. He is a member of the team that discovered parthenogenesis and is published in the stem cell field. After a career at Hybritech, he led the development and commercialization of Clonetics Corporation's brand of human-cell based products well known for quality and innovation. After growing over 20% annually for ten consecutive years, the company was sold successfully in 1995. Mr. Janus subsequently founded Lifeline to meet a growing need for media and human cells in pharmaceutical drug screening, consumer product testing and basic research at universities and government laboratories. A number of highly experienced ex-Clonetics staff followed Mr. Janus to Lifeline.
VP of Research and Development - Ruslan Semechkin
Dr. Semechkin was trained in medical genetics, stem cell biology and international business administration and holds an MS degree from Faculty of Fundamental Medicine of Moscow State University. He earned his PhD degree in Physiology from Anokhin Research Institute of Normal Physiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr. Semechkin is a well-known speaker on stem cell biology, including the use of stem cells for neurology and skin regeneration. He has publications in the field of clinical and molecular biology, and is author of various patent applications.