Guildford, Surrey, UK, July 6 2005: ReNeuron, the UK-based adult stem cell research and development company, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM), a leading US adult stem cell development company. The agreement gives StemCells exclusive access to ReNeuron’s proprietary c-mycER adult human stem cell immortalisation technology for use in the development of therapies for certain diseases targeted by StemCells, including lysosomal storage diseases, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
In return for the licence, ReNeuron gains exclusive access to StemCells’ adult neural stem cell patent estate for the development of its own c-mycER conditionally immortalized neural stem cell therapies, including those targeting stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
StemCells has taken an equity interest in ReNeuron, and the agreement provides for reciprocal royalties and milestone payments on the achievement of various goals under the cross-licence. ReNeuron will also supply cell lines for StemCells’ use under the agreement.
Commenting on the agreement, Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron said:
“We regard our agreement with StemCells as a landmark deal in the adult neural stem cell field. StemCells is without doubt a pioneer in the drive to develop viable treatments utilizing adult stem cells and we are delighted to be working with them. The agreement provides for the exploitation by StemCells of ReNeuron’s proprietary c-mycER technology in further disease states not addressed by ReNeuron’s own programs, and opens the way to further collaborative activity between our two companies. This can only serve to accelerate both companies’ ultimate goals of bringing effective stem cell therapies to those patients who need them.”
Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells said:
“We are delighted to have entered this partnership with ReNeuron, which we regard as the foremost stem cell company in the UK,” said Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells. “We view this agreement as an initial step towards possible future collaborations between the two companies, in the neural stem cell field. ReNeuron’s exclusive focus on conditionally immortalized adult human stem cell technology complements our approach of using highly purified, normal adult neural stem cells that have not been genetically modified (HuCNS-SC). The agreement also makes it possible for StemCells to pursue neural stem cell therapies for a number of neurodegenerative diseases through another channel, by using ReNeuron’s conditionally immortalized cells.”
“ReNeuron will be developing treatments for diseases of the Central Nervous System with its conditionally immortalized cells,” Mr. McGlynn added. “Under our cross license, we too can use their technology in diseases of special interest to StemCells. We believe the ultimate beneficiaries will be those afflicted with some terrible neurodegenerative diseases for which there are now no adequate treatments.”
Notes to editors
ReNeuron is a privately held UK bio-pharmaceutical company and a pioneer in stem cell research and development. The Company has leading edge, proprietary stem cell technologies from which it is developing groundbreaking cell therapy products. ReNeuron’s focus is on cell therapy treatments designed to reverse the effects of major diseases such as stroke and diabetes.
ReNeuron believes its approach to stem cell therapy confers significant advantages over competitor technologies, in terms of the Company’s ability to generate stable, functional cell lines with the characteristics necessary for scale-up to a viable cell therapy product capable of treating large patient populations.
ReNeuron has demonstrated convincing efficacy data in a pre-clinical model of stroke, and its ReN001 stem cell therapy for stroke is now in pre-clinical development. ReNeuron has broadened its product pipeline by initiating programmes to develop stem cell therapies for Type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and diseases of the retina. ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas such as drug discovery � its ReNcellTM product.
StemCells, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of stem cell-based therapies 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 the only publicly traded company solely focused on stem cell research and development and has more than 40 U.S. and 100 non-U.S. patents, as well as 100 patent applications pending worldwide. Further information about the Company is available on its web site at www.stemcellsinc.com.
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, ReNeuron
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer, ReNeuron
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