Guildford, UK, 18 April 2006: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) today announces that it has entered into a further agreement with StemCells, Inc. (‘StemCells’), a leading US, NASDAQ-quoted adult stem cell development company. The agreement provides for ReNeuron to supply StemCells with cell lines generated using ReNeuron’s proprietary c-mycERTAM human stem cell immortalisation technology, for use in StemCells’ areas of therapeutic focus.
These cell lines will be produced to standards appropriate for clinical and commercial use, such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and US GTP (Good Tissue Practice). ReNeuron will derive a commercial return from the supply of these cell lines to StemCells.
This agreement builds on the existing cross-licence between the two companies signed in July 2005, whereby StemCells gave ReNeuron exclusive access to StemCells’ adult neural stem cell patent estate for the development of ReNeuron’s own c-mycERTAM neural stem cell therapies, and ReNeuron gave StemCells exclusive access to that c-mycERTAM technology for use in the development of therapies for certain diseases targeted by StemCells.
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“This agreement is a logical extension of the cross-license we signed with StemCells last year, and plays to ReNeuron’s key strength – the ability of its platform c-mycERTAM technology to generate clinical-grade cell line candidates that meet all appropriate regulatory requirements regarding their production. We are delighted to be consolidating further our strong links with StemCells via the provision of high quality cell lines to them, from which ReNeuron gains a valuable near-term revenue stream.”
Martin McGlynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of StemCells, said:
“The assurance of a supply of c-mycERTAM cells reinforces the value of the underlying license agreement between ReNeuron and StemCells. Our primary focus continues to be on the development of unmodified human neural stem cell products for conditions affecting the central nervous system. The ReNeuron technology may prove to be an important alternative therapy for some of our disease targets, and we look forward to a very productive relationship with ReNeuron.”
Notes to editors
About ReNeuron Group plc
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based adult stem cell therapy business. The Company is applying its novel stem cell platform technologies in the development of ground-breaking stem cell therapies to serve significant and unmet or poorly-met clinical needs.
ReNeuron has used its c-mycERTAM technology to generate genetically stable neural stem cell lines. This technology platform has multi-national patent protection and is fully regulated by means of a chemically-induced safety switch. Cell growth can therefore be completely arrested prior to in vivo implantation.
The Company’s lead stem cell therapy, ReN001 for chronic stroke disability, is in late pre-clinical development. Subject to successful completion of pre-clinical testing, the Company plans to file for approval to commence initial clinical trials in stroke later this year, with trials commencing as soon as possible thereafter.
The Company has also generated pre-clinical efficacy data with its ReN005 stem cell therapy for Huntington’s disease, a rare, genetic and fatal neurodegenerative disorder which affects around 1 in 100,000 people. This programme is in pre-clinical development.
In addition to its stroke and Huntington’s disease programmes, ReNeuron is developing stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and diseases of the retina.
ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas – its ReNcellTM range of cell lines for use in drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical industry.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L, and its warrants are traded under the symbol RENW.L.
Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
About Stemcells, Inc.
StemCells, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of stem cell-based therapeutics to treat diseases of the nervous system, liver and pancreas. The Company’s stem cell programs seek to repair or repopulate neural or other tissue that has been damaged or lost as a result of disease or injury. StemCells is the first company to directly identify and isolate human neural stem cells from normal brain tissue. These stem cells are expandable into cell banks for therapeutic use, which demonstrates the feasibility of using normal, non-genetically modified cells as cell-based therapies. StemCells is a publicly traded company solely focused on stem cell research and development and has approximately 40 U.S. and 100 non-U.S. patents. Further information about the Company is available on its web site at: www.stemcellsinc.com.
For further information:
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel: 44 (0)1483 302 560
Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 3113
The terms “ReNeuron” or “the Company” refer to ReNeuron Group plc and its subsidiary undertakings.