Profile: StemCells Inc (STEM.OQ)
StemCells, Inc. (StemCells), incorporated in August 1988, is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics and related tools and technologies for academia and industry. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing stem and progenitor cells as the basis for therapeutics and therapies, and cells and related tools and technologies to enable stem cell-based research and drug discovery and development. The Company’s primary research and development efforts are focused on identifying and developing stem and progenitor cells as potential therapeutic agents. The Company has two therapeutic product development programs, including its CNS Program, which is developing applications for HuCNS-SC cells, its human neural stem cell product candidate, and its Liver Program, which is characterizing the Company’s human liver cells as a therapeutic product.
The Company in its CNS Program, is in clinical development with its HuCNS-SC cells for a range of disorders of the central nervous system. The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord and eye. In February 2012, the Company had completed a Phase I clinical trial in Pelizeaus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), a fatal myelination disorder in the brain.
The Company’s CNS Program is focused on developing clinical applications, in which transplanting HuCNS-SC cells protect or restore organ function of the patient before such function is irreversibly damaged or lost due to disease progression. The Company’s initial target indications are PMD, and more generally, diseases in which deficient myelination plays a central role, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury, disorders in which retinal degeneration plays a central role, such as age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. The Company’s product candidate, HuCNS-SC cells, is a purified and expanded composition of normal human neural stem cells. Its HuCNS-SC cells can be directly transplanted.
Liver stem or progenitor cells offer an alternative treatment for liver diseases. A liver cellular therapy or cell-based therapeutic provide or support liver function in patients with liver disease. The Company held a portfolio of issued and allowed patents in the liver field, which cover the isolation and use of both hLEC cells and the isolated subset, as well as the composition of the cells themselves.
The Company’s range of cell culture products, which are sold under the SC Proven brand, includes iSTEM, GS1-R, GS2-M, RHB-A, RHB-Basal, NDiff N2, and NDiff N2B27. Its iSTEM is a serum-free, feeder-free medium that maintains mouse embryonic stem cells in their pluripotent ground state by using selective small molecule inhibitors to block the pathways, which induce differentiation. RHB-A is a defined, serum-free culture medium for the selective culture of human and mouse neural stem cells and their maintenance and expansion as adherent cell populations. RHB-Basal is a defined, serum-free basal medium. When supplemented with specific growth factors, this media is formulated for the propagation and differentiation of adherent neural stem cells. RHB-Basal can also be tailored to specific-cell type requirements by the addition of customer preferred supplements.
The Company’s NDiff N2 is a defined serum-free scell culture supplement for the derivation, maintenance, expansion and/or differentiation of human and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and tissue-derived neural stem cells supplement. Its NDiff N2-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N2. Its NDiff N2B27 is a defined, serum-free medium for the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells to neural cell types. NDiff N27-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N27. Its GS1-R is a serum-free media formulation shown to enable the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent rat embryonic stem cells without the addition of cytokines or growth factors. Its GS2-M is a defined, serum- and feeder-free medium for the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent mouse iPS cells.
The Company also markets a number of antibody reagents for use in cell detection, isolation and characterization. These reagents are also under the SC Proven brand and it includes STEM24, STEM101, STEM121 and STEM123. Its STEM24 is a human antibody that recognizes human CD24, also known as heat stable antigen (HSA), a glycoprotein expressed on the surface of many human cell types, including immature human hematopoietic cells, peripheral blood lymphocytes, erythrocytes and many human carcinomas. Its CD24 is also a marker of human neural differentiation. Its STEM101 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes the Ku80 protein found in human nuclei. Its STEM121 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes a cytoplasmic protein of human cells. Its STEM123 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP).
The Company’s Other products marketed under SC Proven include total cell genomic DNA (gDNA), RNA and protein lysate reagents purified from homogenous stem cell populations for intra-comparative studies, such as Epigenetic fingerprinting, Southern, Western and Northern blots, PCR, RT-PCR and microarrays. This range of purified stem cell line lysates includes mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells propagated in SC Proven 2i inhibitor-based GS2-M media and mouse ES cell-derived and fetal tissue-derived neural stem (NS) cells propagated in SC Proven RHB-A media.
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