Guildford, UK, 16 February 2006: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE) today announces that initial in vivo testing of its ReN004 candidate stem cell lines shows them to have attributes that may favour the reversal of the neurological deficits seen in Parkinson’s disease.
The human cell lines were generated using ReNeuron’s patented c-mycERTAM stem cell expansion technology, and were pre-screened for both genetic stability and their ability to differentiate into tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-expressing neurons. TH is a marker for a dopaminergic stem cell phenotype, this cell type being deficient in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
All of the cell lines showed good survival four weeks post-implantation into the appropriate regions of the rodent brain. One of the cell lines showed up-regulation of TH-expressing neurons in the graft area, indicating the potential for functional efficacy in a pre-clinical model.
These results will be presented at the Keystone Stem Cells (G4) meeting in Whistler, Canada on 27 March to I April 2006. The Company is undertaking further studies with its ReN004 stem cell lines to assess their potential in pre-clinical models of Parkinson’s disease, and hopes to report the results of these studies later this year.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We are greatly encouraged by these early results with our ReN004 programme for Parkinson’s disease. They again demonstrate the ability of ReNeuron’s platform c-mycERTAM technology to generate stable stem cell lines of relevant types with potential to treat a variety of disorders both within and outside the central nervous system.”
Notes to editors
About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the basal ganglia region of the brain, with tremor, rigidity and difficulty initiating movement being the most common symptoms. The condition is associated with a deficiency of the chemical dopamine in the brain. It is estimated that four million people worldwide have Parkinson’s1 and there is currently no effective cure for the disease.
1. UK Parkinson’s Disease Society
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. 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 ReN001 stroke programme, ReNeuron has programmes to develop stem cell therapies to address Huntington’s disease, 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.
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.