International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCQB: ISCO) is a biotechnology company that focuses on early-stage cell therapy. ISCO uses stem cells to treat a variety of diseases, including those of the eyes, the nervous system, and the liver, among others. The scientists at ISCO treat severe diseases with state-of-the-art technology. The aim of the company is to create therapeutic products from its own intellectual property. With this in mind, ISCO also owns two subsidiary companies. Lifeline Skin Care Inc. is a business that develops and manufactures skin care products, while Lifeline Cell Technology, LLC is a research products business that develops and manufactures human cell culture products.
Most recently, International Stem Cell Corp. has started developing human parthenogenetic stem cell derived neural stem cells. Over the past few years, the main problem with using stem cells in regenerative medicine has been a case of ethics. In an article entitled ‘Embryonic stem cell research: an ethical dilemma’, published on the Euro Stem Cell website, it explains the dilemma that we, as humans, have to face when making a choice between two moral principles: the duty we have to prevent or diminish pain and suffering, and the duty we have to respect the value of human life, even at its earliest stages. In the article, the discussion goes into detail about the moral status of a human embryo. The question is asked: Does the embryo have the status of a person? The answer is still to be decided.
However, with the help of International Stem Cell Corp., the discussion can be put to one side for the time being. ISCO has developed a new type of stem cell using unfertilized eggs. This means that the eggs in question would never have the potential to become embryos, and, therefore, no embryo is destroyed. During a recent interview between The Nikkei Asian Review and Russell Kern, Chief Scientific Officer at ISCO, Kern said: “Being able to produce parthenogenetic stem cells in large quantities and in a way that greatly simplifies the chances of immune matching gives us a clear advantage over other stem cell technologies, like embryonic stem cells for obvious reasons. One of ISCO’s stem cell lines matches approximately 70 million people and makes it incredibly simple to immune match its stem cells.”
ISCO is starting a phase I clinical trial in Australia using these new stem cells. The stem cells not only take away any moral issues associated to the cause but may also reduce the risk of immune rejections. The phase I clinical trials are based on preclinical studies in rodents and nonhuman primates. The ISCO stem cells showed a significant rise in brain dopamine levels. Not only this, the studies also showed amazing improvement in Parkinson’s disease symptoms. With phase I of clinical trials, ISCO aims to find a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
For more information, visit www.internationalstemcell.com
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