|Six month performance StemCells, Inc., stock price|
“We are in the process of winding down that loan so as we do that we'll get a better idea of the final financial picture.”
"Thank you for your email, and your request for comment, which I have provided below:
"As you know, Alzheimer’s Disease is significant unmet medical need. The funding for our Alzheimer’s program was in the form of a forgivable loan. Thus, the loan would be forgiven in the event that certain predetermined preclinical milestones were not accomplished. Those milestones included a “go/no go” goal of replicating certain behavioral changes observed in mouse models of relevance for Alzheimer’s, obtained in a small pilot study that had been conducted by our collaborator, Dr. Frank LaFerla, Chancellor's Professor and Chair, Neurobiology and Behavior School of Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine, and described in detail in the original application for funding under the CIRM Disease Team RFA. It has become clear to both the CIRM and StemCells that this goal has not been achieved, so the parties have begun the process of winding down the program.
"We presented this data during our recent Analyst & Investor Event in New York on November 20th. The conference was webcast live and a replay of that event is available at http://www.media-server.com/m/p/m8h3mw5w. During the conference, the Company presented data showing that the Company’s proprietary human neural stem cells, HuCNS-SC® cells robustly engrafted into the hippocampus for up to 3 months post transplantation (the longest time point tested). The Company also presented compelling data derived during the preclinical testing, showing that HuCNS-SC transplantation significantly increased the number of pre- and post-synaptic hippocampal spines in the AD mice, suggesting an increase in synaptic density in this important brain region.
"Unfortunately, despite this compelling histological data, we did not see an improvement in the predetermined measures of memory enhancement and the Company stated that in the absence of consistent behavior modification in the animal models tested, pre-determined success criteria were not met, and that it would be working with the CIRM on an orderly wind down of the program.
"Importantly, we do not view this as a “loss”, rather, we believe we have made a significant contribution to the field. We are of course disappointed that we didn’t see the preclinical efficacy that we had hoped for, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. LaFerla and CIRM to pursue this worthwhile cause. It is possible that in the future, more reliable and validated animal models of memory enhancement will emerge, at which time StemCells, Inc. will be well positioned to reenter the arena.