RNL BIO Rescues a College Student from Autoimmune Hearing Loss

Wed Nov 4, 2009 6:47am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

- RNL BIO's success of stem cell treatment

SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- RNL BIO Co., Ltd,
(www.rnl.co.kr) a leading biopharmaceutical company specialized in adult stem
cell therapeutics announced today that it treated an American college student
who was suffering from autoimmune hearing loss and she gained her hearing back
in two months after treatment.

Chloe Sohl, an 18-year old college student who majors in music at University
of Arizona was suffering from autoimmune hearing loss since the age of 15.
Although there is no known cause of her diagnosis, it is a serious disease
that slowly damages the organs. Chloe's father, Dr. Bertram Sohl is a director
of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Mary's Medical Center in Long Beach,
California and her mother, Dr. Veronique Jotterand is an ophthalmologist and
Vice Chief of Staff at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, California.
Even though Chloe's parents are medical doctors, they felt helpless and
devastated about their daughter's progressive condition. They tried every
possible medication, but Chloe's condition got worse. The only options they
had were for Chloe to use a hearing aid and for her to take medication to slow
down her autoimmune system. Dr. Tai June Yoo, a professor from University of
Tennessee and a medical advisor of RNL BIO explained as specialist in immune
diseases, that if Chloe continues to take strong medication like Methotrexate
and Humira, there will be high chances for further serious complications
without guarantee of improvement. Her doctors even recommended Chloe to
receive Cochlea implant that would enable Chloe to hear some sound, but would
irreversibly destroy the middle ear, which scared her parents.

Ever since Dr. Sohl met Dr. Jeong Chan Ra, CEO of the firm, they began to see
hope in Chloe's hearing. Dr. Ra established RNL Life Science in California to
promote stem cell banking and to introduce the benefit of stem cell therapy
through medical tourism. He held a seminar on April 20, 2009 with 30 doctors
from Southern California on the topic of adult stem cell therapy in San Pedro,
California. Among the attendees was Dr. Sohl, who was stunned at RNL BIO's
achievements in stem cell therapeutics that was able to improve various
conditions by stem cell treatment. The principle of adult stem cell therapy is
actually simple because it utilizes the natural healing ability of our own

"Every part of our body already contains stem cells that play a key role in
maintaining and repairing our own structural and functional system. Due to
aging, the amount of stem cells decrease and that's why the time and ability
to recover from cellular damage slow down and chronic and degenerative
symptoms develop as time goes by. The principle of our stem cell treatment is
to make enough amount of stem cells and to bring them back to the patient's
own body. Surprisingly, we found that stem cell therapy has great potential to
treat autoimmune diseases," explained Dr. Ra.

Earlier this year, RNL BIO treated patients with atopic dermatitis. Other
autoimmune disorders have also been treated in addition to atopy. Many stem
cell researchers have demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells modulate the
immune system and suppress inflammation as a major therapeutic effect. Chloe's
hearing loss falls into this example. This treatment was supposed to soothe
any hypersensitive immune response and repair damaged organ so that she might
hear again.

Dr. Sohl was very intrigued for his daughter to receive stem cell treatment,
but his wife was skeptical about Chloe getting stem cell therapy at first.
Chloe's physicians even discouraged Chloe from receiving stem cell treatment.
However, they were able to decide to try this treatment for Chloe from seeing
RNL BIO's successful outcomes. The great safety profile of RNL stem cell
therapy made them comfortable. Chloe felt assured to accept the therapy.

Chloe said, "I felt very good about it. I felt very optimistic. I've had IV's
every month since I started to lose my hearing. It was good because I knew
this could work unlike the other ones. I just felt very optimistic about the
whole procedure."

Currently, stem cell transplant is not allowed in some countries like the
United States, some European countries, and South Korea unless it gets a
market approval through clinical trials as new pharmaceutical drugs undergo.
Chloe had to travel outside of the United States and to Japan or China where
RNL established stem cell clinics. More than 2,000 patients with various
diseases have been treated with stem cell therapeutics through RNL BIO since

Chloe visited Dr. Won, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles to harvest her fat
tissue around her belly button in last June. Then the tissue was sent to the
laboratory RNL BIO in Germantown, Maryland, where they isolated stem cells,
put them in liquid nitrogen shipper and transported them to RNL BIO in Seoul,
Korea. It took them a month to expand her stem cells to a sufficient amount
enough to treat her hearing loss. Chloe's family planned a trip to Korea
during their summer vacation. At last, on July 27, 2009, they visited Korea
for two weeks. The stem cell treatment took place in Japan -- 600 million
cells were administered by three injections with 5 day intervals. The cells
were injected into her veins and auditory system.

Chloe's hearing was tested two months after the procedure was completed on
October 16, 2009. The results were spectacular. The left side of her ear
improved 50% from not being able to hear at all. The right side of her ear
gained almost complete hearing.

Dr. Jotterand could not bear her excitement, "Now it's just been a 180 degree
turnaround. She's just enjoying life and enjoying being a freshman at the
university. She's just having a great time and it's just wonderful to see the
joy in her own face and in her life."

Chloe's parents invited Dr. Ra and other members of RNL BIO to their home in
Long Beach to celebrate her miracle. They expressed their gratitude and felt
like they received a gift of miracle. Thus, they promised to support RNL BIO's
promoting stem cell business in the United States.

President and CEO of RNL BIO, Dr. Ra stated, "Through this great discovery and
research of adult stem cells, I am committed to create and develop therapies
that will not only prevent diseases, but ensure a better quality of life for

RNL BIO is a premier biotechnology company focused on the research and
development of adult derived stem cell therapies. RNL has two therapies in
Phase II clinical trials for Buerger's Disease as well as Osteoarthritis and
one phase I trial for spinal cord injury. RNL is a publicly traded company on
the Korean Stock Exchange (Code 003190) and is expanding its operations
throughout the world. 

For questions regarding the press conference or receiving stem cell therapy,
please contact Jin Han Hong, Ph.D., managing director at hongjh@rnl.co.kr.


Jin Han Hong, Ph.D., managing director of RNL BIO Co., Ltd, +1-323-731-2321,
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