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GEN News Highlights : Jan 24, 2008

StemCells Employs Casey Eye Institute to Test Neural Stem Cell Product for Treating Retinal Degeneration

HuCNS-SC will be used in a rat model as preparatory studies for clinical trials.

StemCells will work with the Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute to evaluate its purified human neural stem cell candidate, HuCNS-SC®, as a treatment for retinal degeneration.

The parties will investigate engraftment and function of HuCNS-SC cells in a well established rat model of the disease as preparatory studies for planned clinical trials. The research is expected to be concluded by year end, according to StemCells.

“This collaboration advances our mission to develop novel treatments for diseases of all three elements of the central nervous system—the brain, the spinal cord, and the eye,” points out Stephen Huhn, M.D., vp and head of the CNS program at StemCells.

“The company is actively exploring the utility of its neural stem cells for a wide range of human central nervous system disorders. Our HuCNS-SC cells are already in clinical testing for the brain, and we have announced plans to initiate a clinical trial for spinal cord injury later this year.”