CARLSBAD, Calif., April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCQB:ISCO), a California-based clinical stage biotechnology company developing stem cell-based therapies and biomedical products, today announced that the fourth (and final) patient in the first cohort of the clinical trial for Parkinson's Disease (PD) was successfully transplanted with ISC-hpNSC® cells. The fourth operation went according to plan and no adverse events associated with ISC-hpNSC® have been reported in any of the patients.

Russell Kern, PhD, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of ISCO commented: "We are very encouraged by the early clinical safety data for ISC-hpNSC®. We look forward to dosing our second cohort with 50 million cells and enrolling the rest of our clinical trial participants in 2017. The Data Safety Monitor Board meeting will be held in the beginning of May and we expect to receive approval to start an accelerated enrollment of patients into the second cohort.”

There are no approved treatments that restore the damaged dopaminergic neurons. The death of dopaminergic neurons causes the motor symptoms associated with PD such as stiffness, slowness and tremor.  Based on our preclinical research, ISC-hpNSC® has the potential to provide neurotrophic support and neuroregeneration to the affected tissues of the recipient brain. ISC-hpNSC® is the world’s first pluripotent stem cell based therapy for PD and if successful, it would represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of this devastating disease.

About the clinical study

The Phase I clinical study is a dose escalation safety and preliminary efficacy study of ISC-hpNSC®, intracranially transplanted into patients with moderate Parkinson's disease. The open-label, single center, uncontrolled clinical trial will evaluate three different dose regimens of 30,000,000 to 70,000,000 neural cells. A total of 12 participants with moderate to severe Parkinson's disease will be treated. Following transplantation, the patients will be monitored for 12 months at specified intervals, to evaluate the safety and biologic activity of ISC-hpNSC®. PET scan will be performed at baseline, as part of the screening assessment, and at 6 and 12 months after surgical intervention. Clinical responses compared to baseline after the administration of ISC-hpNSC® will be evaluated using various neurological assessments such as Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr and other rating scales. An extension phase of the study will evaluate patients every 6 months for 5 additional years.

About Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system mainly affecting the motor system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these symptoms include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, and depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Parkinson's disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.

There are no approved treatments that restore the damaged dopaminergic neurons. Medications typically used in the treatment of Parkinson's, L-DOPA and dopamine agonists, improve the early symptoms of the disease. As the disease progresses and dopaminergic neurons continue to be lost, the drugs eventually become ineffective while at the same time frequently producing a complication marked by involuntary writhing movements. There are over 10 million people afflicted by PD worldwide. In 2013 PD resulted in about 103,000 deaths globally, up from 44,000 deaths in 1990.

About ISC-hpNSC®

International Stem Cell Corporation's proprietary ISC-hpNSC® consists of a highly pure population of neural stem cells derived from human parthenogenetic stem cells. ISC-hpNSC® is a suspension of clinical grade cells manufactured under cGMP conditions that have undergone stringent quality control measures and are clear of any microbial and viral contaminants. Preclinical studies in rodents and non-human primates have shown improvement in Parkinson's disease symptoms and increase in brain dopamine levels following the intracranial administration of ISC-hpNSC®. ISC-hpNSC® provides neurotrophic support and neuroregeneration to the dying dopaminergic neurons of the recipient PD brain. Additionally, ISC-hpNSC® is safe, well tolerated and does not cause adverse events such as dyskinesia, systemic toxicity or tumors in preclinical models. International Stem Cell Corporation believes that ISC-hpNSC® may have broad therapeutic applications for many neurological diseases affecting the brain, the spinal cord and the eye.

About International Stem Cell Corporation

International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation. hpSCs offer the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology (www.lifelinecelltech.com), and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care (www.lifelineskincare.com). More information is available at www.internationalstemcell.com.

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Contacts:

International Stem Cell Corporation
Russell Kern,PhD
Executive VP, 
Chief Scientific Officer
Phone: +1 760 940 6383
Email: ir@intlstemcell.com