NeoStem Announces Extension of Study Under Grant from California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
to Fund Research of Retinal Disease
Los Angeles, CA (April 9, 2015) - NeoStem, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBS), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell based personalized medicine therapies, announced today the extension of its study for retinal disease under a 2014 Early Translational grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine for research leading to the development of a treatment for retinal diseases, including macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Under the $4 million grant made to the University of California, Irvine, NeoStem is entitled, through a subaward, to $1 million of new funds adding to the original $0.5 million awarded . The goals of the research are to generate three-dimensional retinal tissue, to investigate the ability of adult induced pluripotent stem cells to restore sight in rodent models of retinal degeneration and to make eventual preparations for clinical use of the tissue.
The grant supports a three-year study led by Dr. Hans S. Keirstead, President of NeoStem Oncology, and Dr. Magdalene J. Seiler, Project Scientist V at the University of California, Irvine and its Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.
"This study exemplifies our commitment to utilizing non-dilutive funding sources for discovery programs exploring application of our technologies in other indications. A self-sustaining development pipeline depends on the generation of new development programs that are reasonable in terms of size of opportunity and clinical investment," said Dr. David J. Mazzo, Chief Executive Officer of NeoStem.
In the first year of the study, NeoStem fulfilled its primary goal of reproducibly generating retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and layered retinal progenitor tissue, which include progenitors of the major retinal cell types including photoreceptors. This success enables the rest of the study, which will focus on transplantation and testing of these tissues in rodent models of retinal degeneration.
Approximately 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050. Estimates of the global cost of visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration is $343 billion, including $255 billion in direct health care costs.
About NeoStem, Inc.
NeoStem is a biopharmaceutical company pursuing the preservation and enhancement of human health globally through the development of novel cell based personalized medicine therapeutics that prevent, treat or cure disease. The Company is developing therapies based on three platform technologies (immune-oncology, ischemic repair and immunomodulation) with a lead, late-stage clinical program for each. The combination of a rich therapeutics pipeline and an externally recognized in-house center for cell therapy process development and manufacturing has created an organization with unique capabilities for accelerated and efficient product development. www.neostem.com
About the University of California, Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. Located in one of the world's safest and most economically vibrant communities, it's Orange County's second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. The Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center unifies and strengthens the campus's fast-growing stem cell biology program and serves as a hub for research in Southern California. www.uci.edu
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements herein with respect to the successful execution of the Company's business strategy, the Company's ability to develop and grow its business, the successful development of cellular therapies with respect to the Company's research and development and clinical evaluation efforts in connection with the Company's Targeted Immunotherapy Program, Ischemic Repair Program , Immune Modulation Program and other cell therapies, the future of the regenerative medicine industry and the role of stem cells and cellular therapy in that industry, and the performance and planned expansion of the Company's contract development and manufacturing business as well as its efforts to expand its capabilities into the cell therapy tools market. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the "Risk Factors" described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 2, 2015, and in the Company's other periodic filings with the SEC. The Company's further development is highly dependent on future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside of its control.
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