Stem Cell Therapeutics Firm ISCO, in Clinical Trial for Parkinson’s, Reviews Key Achievements of 2016

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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ISCO achievements

International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) says two of its biggest achievements in the last quarter of 2016 was demonstrating that ISC-hpNSC can improve cognitive performance and motor coordination in rodents with traumatic brain injury, and successfully transplanting 30 million ISC-hpNSC cells into a second patient in a clinical trial for Parkinson’s disease.

ISCO, a biopharmaceutical firm that develops clinical therapeutics based on stem cells for Parkinson’s and other illnesses, highlighted those two items in a press release that also put the company’s 2016 revenues at $7.2 million — a 5 percent drop from 2015 sales. The company also reported combined 2016 operating income of $1.3 million for its two wholly owned subsidiaries, Lifeline Skin Care and Lifeline Cell Technology.

Gross margin, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 73 percent year-over-year, while average net cash used in operating activities during 2016 came to $350,000 per month.

ISC-hpNSC cells are derived from unfertilized human eggs, so while they retain all the advantages of embryonic cells, they cannot generate a human being. In this manner, these cells are safe from any ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos.

“In 2016, we made a significant progress in the field of neurology. We transplanted human parthenogenetic stem cells-derived neural stem cells into patients with Parkinson’s disease and we also were able to demonstrate a significant therapeutic potential of our cells in traumatic brain injury animal model,” said Andrey Semechkin, Ph.D., the company’s CEO and co-chairman. “In the area of ISCO commercial subsidiaries, substantial attention was dedicated to logistics and manufacturing processes optimization.”

In pre-clinical studies of mice with traumatic brain injury, ISCO’s results showed that human parthenogenetic stem cells improved their cognitive performance and motor coordination. In addition, during the fourth quarter of 2016, ISCO filed 10 patent applications covering internal technologies and launched four new skincare products by Lifeline Skin Care.

ISCO officials presented results from Parkinson’s pre-clinical and clinical studies at both the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair Annual Meeting and the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting at Neuroscience 2016.

This year, the company — based in Carlsbad, Calif. — expects to finish dosing Parkinson’s patients enrolled in a Phase I clinical trial (NCT02452723) at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. It also plans to report pre-clinical results with mice treated for traumatic brain injury, and to start a Phase II clinical trial testing the use of human parthenogenetic stem cells as therapy for traumatic brain injury.

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