Archive for the 'parthenogenesis' Category

The Ellis Martin Report: Interview with Ken Aldrich of International Stem Cell Corp.

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Ken Aldrich of International Stem Cell Corp (ISCO.OB) on the Present and Future of Stem Cell Research and Applications

The Ellis Martin Report: International Stem Cell Corporation trades under the symbol ISCO.OB on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board and is based in Carlsbad, California where I have the pleasure of interviewing Executive Chairman, Kenneth Aldrich. International Stem Cell has developed a process to derive stem cells similar to Embryonic Stem Cells without the need for fertilized embryos and with minimal exposure to non-human cells. These factors provide ISCO a unique leadership role in the field of regenerative cell therapy. Additionally, Lifeline Cell Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO), develops, manufactures and markets high-quality human primary cells, stem cells, media and reagents for sale to pharmaceutical, academic and government scientists. The company’s management pioneered the development of the normal human cell culture market through the creation of Clonetics® Corporation in the 1980s and has over 20 years combined experience in research, development, manufacturing, quality control, marketing and sales of human cell culture products. Lifeline’s products are distributed in the United States and Europe. Ken Aldrich, welcome to the program.

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The Difference Between Adult Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

This is Ken Aldrich.  I am Chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation and thought I’d talk for just a minute, or maybe a couple of minutes, about the different kinds of stem cells.  People are always asking, “What’s the difference between an adult stem cell and an embryonic stem cell?”   Let me try to make this as simple as possible.  Adult stem cells are those that are derived from the human body any time after the first, probably, week or two of development of the fetus in the womb. So, cells that come from cord blood, or cells that come from embryonic tissue as well as cells that come from an adult human being are all categorized as adult cells and as a result they can become certain types of cells in the body and can be changed into certain other kinds, but not all kinds.  That limits the range of diseases that you can possibly treat with adult cells; leukemia, for example, in some cases very well, you can’t treat diabetes and so on. 

The second broad category is what’s called pluripotent stem cells.  These are cells that can be converted into any cell in the body.  The best known example of pluripotent stem cells are embryonic stem cells which we have all heard about in the news.  These are created from a fertilized human egg and have all of the ethical issues that people debate about, but also have the ability to become any cell in the human body. 

The next category, that you haven’t heard as much about are what are called Induced Pluripotent Cells of IPS cells.  These are derived from adult tissue, but then that tissue is reprogrammed back to its primal state and you get a true pluripotent stem cell as if it were an embryonic cell.  The problem with these is that in order to get back to that state, you have to introduce what are called vectors which often are cancer causing agents and you are also involving genetic manipulation, so there is a big question as to whether the FDA will ever approve those kinds of cells for therapy.  What they are wonderful for, however, is research.  Scientists, for example, can reprogram cells from a patient who has Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and perhaps be able to study the development of that disease and find out exactly what goes wrong and when.  So they are very useful.

The third category is parthenogenetic stem cells.  These happen to be the ones created by our company, International Stem Cell Corporation.  We think they are the best so I will acknowledge a little bit of bias right here.  These are cells that have all the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, but they are created without using a fertilized human egg.  That has two huge advantages; one, obviously, is we take the ethical issue off of the table, the second advantage is however the genetic makeup is much simpler.  There is no sperm from the father to add to the genetic complexity.  As a result of this, we can take a single cell line, match it to the immune response system of literally hundreds of millions of people.  That leads to what we hope will be the final solution for creating a true human cell bank that anyone can tap into and get cells that match their own needs, on demand, when they need them.  Think of it like a blood bank, if you will, except that these are human cells and they are more complicated. 

That’s a quick overview.  If you are curious about more please go to our website at and if you browse around there a bit you’ll find quite a bit more to learn about stem cells and in particular about our parthenogenic stem cells. 


Thanks for listening.


International Stem Cell Corporation Offers a Possible Alternative to Animal Corneal Testing

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Please take a moment to listen to International Stem Cell Corporation Chairman, Ken Aldrich, as he discusses the benefits of using human corneas developed in Petri dishes as an alternative to testing on the eyes of innocent rabbits. 

This is Ken Aldrich and I am chairman of International Stem Cell Corporation and I am here to talk to you a little bit about rabbits.  One of the things that most people don’t know is that cosmetic companies, drug companies and pesticide makers all have to test their products to see whether they do damage to the human eye.  Unfortunately, the way they do it is to take poor innocent rabbits and place them in what for all  the world looks like stocks from medieval Europe or something and pour into their eyes the chemicals that they want to test whether it is a cosmetic or a pesticide or some sort of a drug to find out what damage it does to the rabbit’s eyes from that they hope to determine whether it is safe for humans Well, we at International Stem Cell Corporation are not terribly pleased with that process and we think we have a solution.  We have developed in the Petri dish a human cornea that has all of the requisite layers of the human corneal tissue that would be necessary for such a test and we are right now determining whether or not that tissue has the same permeability as the normal human eye.  If we are right, what we hope to be able to do is to provide these kinds of human eyes in a Petri dish to drug companies so that they can test all of the chemicals and all of the pesticides and all of the cosmetics that they want without ever harming a rabbit and get better results and do it at a fraction of the cost.  It’s just one of our ways of trying to make the planet a little better. 


ISCO and Absorption Sytems to Commercialize Stem Cell Derived Human Corneal Tissue for Drug Test

Monday, November 24th, 2008

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO (, the first company to perfect a method of creating human "parthenogenetic" stem cells from unfertilized eggs, has formed a partnership with Absorption Systems to utilize ISCO's parthenogenetic stem cell-derived human corneal tissue to measure drug disposition, drug safety and drug-drug interactions. The collaboration between the companies is focused on using Absorption Systems' know how in creating in vitro assay systems to develop a superior method of testing drugs that will also reduce the use of laboratory animals currently necessary for such tests.

In the past, researchers have grown corneal cells in the laboratory, but ISCO is believed to be the only company to grow a self-assembling corneal construct suitable for toxicity testing in the laboratory and possibly suitable for corneal transplants. ISCO's corneal constructs include cell layers and structures normally found in a human cornea, as confirmed by an independent third-party laboratory. ISCO's proprietary lines of parthenogenetic stem cells remove the need for fertilized embryos and in a therapeutic setting, minimize the threat of immune rejection. This breakthrough was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cloning & Stem Cells (Volume 9, Number 3; September 2007:432-449 and, Volume 10, Number 1; March 2008:11-24).

"The combination of ISCO's skill in culturing human parthenogenetic stem cells and Absorption Systems' proficiency in performing tissue-based assays may provide a powerful and unique drug testing model for the pharmaceutical industry and the field of ophthalmology," commented Jeffrey Janus, president of ISCO. "In addition, this work complements ISCO's effort to use its parthenogenetic stem cells to create cell transplant therapies for diseases of the eye. We plan to further develop our corneal tissue technology with a goal of routinely growing living human corneas for ultimate use in human corneal transplants."

"ISCO's corneal construct, combined with Absorption Systems' expertise in assessing drug disposition, may provide pharmaceutical and ophthalmology researchers with new insight, without the need for animal models," said Patrick M. Dentinger, president and CEO of Absorption Systems. "Absorption Systems' services yield the type of definitive data expected by the FDA, so we believe that our combined products will be of great interest to researchers studying diseases of the eye."


International Stem Cell Corporation is a California biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic and research products. ISCO's technology, Parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cell lines from unfertilized human eggs. ISCO scientists have created the first Parthenogenetic homozygous stem cell line (phSC-Hhom-4) that can be a source of therapeutic cells that will minimize immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. These advancements offer the potential to create the first true "Stem Cell Bank" and address ethical issues by eliminating the need to use or destroy fertilized embryos. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media worldwide for therapeutic research through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. For more information, visit the ISCO website at:

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Founded in 1996 by Patrick Dentinger and Ismael J. Hidalgo, Ph.D., Absorption Systems, LP focuses on performing assays that can predict the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (ADME) of small molecules using a variety of in vitro, in situ, and in vivo biological models. Absorption Systems supports these assays with state-of–the-art bioanalytical capabilities and preclinical formulation services. For more information, visit:


Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development and potential opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


International Stem Cell Corporation Announces a Manufacturing and Supply Agreement with Millipore Co

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

International Stem Cell (OTCBB:ISCO) announced today it has entered into a worldwide distribution agreement with Millipore Corporation (NYSE: MIL) to manufacture living cells and cell culture products to be sold through Millipore’s distribution network.

“To work with a company such as Millipore that has sales of over $1.5 billion and is known throughout the world is a wonderful opportunity for ISCO. This partnership will lead to a significant expansion in ISCO’s revenue generation through the manufacture of high quality cells and cell culture products. Millipore is a leader in the life science industry, with a strong sales force and distribution network serving biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies and laboratories around the world. The ISCO-Millipore team will provide valuable research tools for cell biologists across the world,” according to Jeffrey Janus, ISCO’s president.

International Stem Cell, an emerging stem-cell therapy company, is the first company to perfect a method of creating human stem cells from unfertilized eggs. These cells, called “parthenogenetic” stem cells promise to alleviate two critical problems inherent in cell transplantation today, immune rejection and the ethical issues associated with the use of fertilized human embryos. ISCO, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology (Walkersville, MD) develops and manufactures cell culture products for research use. Such manufacturing generates revenue and therapeutic production capacity for ISCO.

“We are very excited about driving our partnership forward with ISCO,” said Don O’Neil, Millipore’s Director of Marketing for Stem Cells. “With this relationship, Millipore gains access to a world class team of scientists responsible for developing many of the 'first-in-class' specialty media products on the market. The ISCO offering perfectly complements our strategy to become the industry leading specialty and stem cell culture complete solutions provider.”


Millipore is a life science leader providing cutting-edge technologies, tools, and services for bioscience research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. As a strategic partner, we collaborate with customers to confront the world's challenging human health issues. From research to development to production, our scientific expertise and innovative solutions help customers tackle their most complex problems and achieve their goals. Millipore Corporation is an S&P 500 company with more than 6,000 employees in 47 countries worldwide.


International Stem Cell is a biotechnology company currently focused on developing therapeutic and research products. In the area of therapeutic product development, ISCO's objective is to create an unlimited source of human cells for use in the treatment of several diseases, including diabetes, liver disease and retinal and corneal disease through cell transplant therapy. In furtherance of this objective, ISCO has developed pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized human eggs, and techniques to cause those stem cells to be "differentiated" into the specific cell types required for transplant. It has developed manufacturing protocols to produce the cells minimizing contamination with animal by-products, a characteristic likely to be important in meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements. ISCO also provides the specialized cells and growth media needed for therapeutic cell transplantation research to academic and commercial researchers in related fields. For more information, visit the ISCO website at: