Stem Cell Innovations and ALS Association announce colloboration
December 11, 2006 - Houston TX, USA and Calabasas Hills, CA, USA - Stem Cell Innovations,Inc. (SCLL.OB)
and the ALS Association, a non-profit health organization dedicated to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), announced today a two-year discovery alliance. Stem Cell Innovations (SCI) will develop human motor neuron models based on its proprietary PluriCell™ technology that can be used for high-throughput screening. Subsequently, the cell models will be used by alliance partner Galapagos to discover novel drug targets for ALS. Under the terms of the agreement, SCI will receive 400,000 Euros ($512,000) from the ALS Association, upon completion of certain milestones. In addition, SCI has the option to further develop certain cell-therapy applications based on results identified in the program.
“The human motor neuron cultures derived from our PluriCells will form the basis of this exciting alliance,” said Stem Cell Innovations CEO Dr. James Kelly. “We are very pleased to be collaborating with The ALS Association and Galapagos on this discovery project.”
“The unique ability provided by SCI to screen human motor neurons at large scale will open new approaches to
developing medicines that may stop ALS,” said Dr. Lucie Bruijn, Science Director and Vice President at the ALS Association. “We see this alliance with SCI as an important initiative within the ALS Association’s mission to find a cure for and improve living with ALS.”
Funding from the ALS Association’s translational program, Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS (TREAT ALS), is the largest to date focused on drug development. TREAT ALS seeks new avenues to therapeutics and puts into place a clinical trials process that will be ready when any new candidates are identified. Several pilot clinical trials of existing candidates are already underway with TREAT ALS funding.
Stem Cell Innovations recently disclosed that it has produced multiple lines of human pluripotent stem cells. These PluriCell lines can be cultured without the use of feeder layers and can be efficiently differentiated into multiple cell-types with the potential to aid in drug discovery and development.
PluriCells™ are a type of pluripotent stem cell isolated from fetal tissue, which have the ability to become all cell types of the body. Because they are developed from fetal germ cells, not viable embryos, they are eligible to be used in any NIH funded laboratory. Stem cells derived from fetal germ cells were explicitly excluded from the Presidential ban by the Department of Health and Human Services guidance document of March 19, 2002, that laid out what type of stem cells could and could not be used in Federally funded research. For the actual document see: www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/stemcell.pdf.
PluriCells is a Trademark of Stem Cell Innovations, Inc.
● About Stem Cell Innovations, Inc.
SCI is a cell biology company with an office in Scotch Plains, N.J., and facilities in Houston, TX and in Leiden, the Netherlands. Stem Cell Innovations proprietary, human pluripotent stem cells, known as PluriCells, have the potential to aid in drug discovery, toxicology, and cell therapy. Stem Cell Innovations is in the process of making its patented pluripotent cell lines, which are eligible for federal funding in the U.S., widely available to universities and other notfor-profit institutions to rapidly advance stem cell research.
Stem Cell Innovations is positioned to become a leading provider of toxicology testing and discovery systems for the pharmaceutical, chemical, and nutraceutical industries around the world. The development of the proprietary PluriCell technology greatly expands the company’s currently marketed C3A human liver cell-based toxicology offerings.
● About the ALS Association
The ALS Association (ALSA) is the only U.S. not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. ALSA covers all the bases - research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy - in providing help and hope to those facing the disease. The mission of the ALSA is to find a cure for and improve living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
● About ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death of the patient. Yet, through it all, for the vast majority of people, their minds remain unaffected. Although a small percentage of ALS cases is genetically inherited, incidence of ALS is mainly sporadic. ALS affects more than 30,000 Americans, most of whom are between 40-70 years of age. At this time, the cost of medical care for ALS patients is exceedingly high.
- Contact Information
- Dr. James H. Kelly
- Stem Cell Innovations,Inc.
- Contact via E-mail
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