Thursday, September 01, 2011

Stem Cells Inc. Joining with LaFerla on Alzheimer's Effort

Stem Cells Inc. of Newark, Ca., this morning touted its research award from the California stem cell agency as an "encouraging vote of confidence" for its plans to develop a stem cell-based therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

 In a widely distributed news release, Ann Tsukamoto, executive vice president of the publicly traded company said,
"Our research, and that of our collaborators, provides a strong rationale for developing our HuCNS-SC neural stem cells as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease."
Frank LaFerla of UC Irvine
UCI photo
She also disclosed that Stem Cells Inc. is collaborating on the project with Frank LaFerla,director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at UC Irvine. Tsukamoto said that La Ferla
"...has shown that mouse neural stem cells enhance memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, and we have previously shown that our human neural stem cells can survive in the hostile environment reflective of an Alzheimer's brain. This award is an encouraging vote of confidence, and with CIRM's help, we will be better able to pursue our aim of developing a stem cell-based therapy for Alzheimer's disease."
Last week, the company was one of four firms to receive a planning award -- $98,050 in the case of the Stem Cells Inc. -- for the upcoming $240 million disease team round in 2012. Stem Cells Inc. could be eligible for a CIRM grant of up to $20 million in the summer of next year.

Stem Cells Inc.was trading at $2.43 this morning, down five cents from its close yesterday. Its low during the last 12 months was $2.02 and its high $12.70.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this item had an incorrect figure for the amount of the Stem Cells Inc. planning grant.)

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