The Case for International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)

Recently, SeeThruEquity initiated coverage on International Stem Cell Corp., a development-stage biotechnology company focused on therapeutic, biomedical, and cosmetic products derived from human cell technologies. In particular, ISCO has developed a proprietary technology platform for generating pluripotent human parthenogenetic stem cells (“hpSCs”). The company aims to use its advancements in human stem cell technology to become a leader in regenerative medicine by using cell-based therapies to treat disease.

Like embryonic stem cells, parthenogenetic stem cells have the potential to differentiate into various types of cell types in the human body, yet do not require the use or destruction of a human embryo, avoiding a major source of controversy. In addition, because of the way they are generated, parthenogenetic stem cells carry a duplicate set of human leukocyte antigen genes, which significantly reduces the possibility of the derived cells being rejected by a patient’s immune system. Immune rejection is a major problem with the successful application of stem cell technology, and parthenogenesis largely eliminates it.

SeeThruEquity’s positive initiation report emphasized ISCO’s proprietary parthenogenetic technology, their therapeutic market opportunity, and the supportive advantage represented by their two wholly-owned subsidiaries.

• The report points out that ISCO is initially targeting diseases of the brain, liver, and eye – areas where cell and tissue treatment have proven effective but where there is a short supply of safe and efficacious cells. Specifically, ISCO is developing neuronal cells for use in treatment for Parkinson’s disease, hepatocytes for acute and chronic liver diseases, and corneal cells to treat various degrees of corneal blindness. The company believes this represents a potential market of over $4 billion.

• The report also highlights the importance of ISCO’s proprietary techniques for deriving human parthenogenetic stem cells, stressing that they may provide the company a competitive differentiation versus peers. ISCO has a broad intellectual property portfolio with over 130 patents and licenses across 30 patent families.

• Finally, ISCO has two revenue-generating wholly-owned subsidiaries, Lifeline Skin Care and Lifeline Cell Technology, both of which leverage the company’s human cell culture experience and proprietary stem cell technology platform.

The report concludes the ISCO has a high growth potential over time considering current commercial and future therapeutic applications derived from its proprietary stem cell technology platform.

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