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StemCells Announces Publication of Preclinical Data Demonstrating Its Human Neural Stem Cells Preserve Vision

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StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq: STEM) today announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating that its proprietary HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural stem cells) protect host photoreceptors and preserve vision in an animal model of retinal disease. The preclinical results are highly relevant to human disorders of vision loss, the most notable of which is dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study is available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07970.x/abstract and will be featured as the cover article in the February issue of the international peer-reviewed European Journal of Neuroscience.

This research was conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers led by Raymond Lund, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ophthalmology, and Trevor McGill, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University.

The results of the study show that photoreceptors, the key cells of the eye involved in vision, were protected from degeneration following transplantation of HuCNS-SC cells into the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat. The RCS rat is a well-established model of retinal disease which has been used extensively to evaluate potential cell therapies. Moreover, the number of cone photoreceptors, which are responsible for central vision, remained constant over an extended period, consistent with the sustained visual acuity and light sensitivity observed in the study. In humans, degeneration of the cone photoreceptors account for the unique pattern of visual loss in dry AMD.

 

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