International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) announces the receipt of the first $1 million tranche of an anticipated $5 million in private equity financing that is to be spread out over the following months.
According to CEO Kenneth Aldrich, “This is a first major step toward the company’s goal of becoming financially self-sufficient.” Jeffry Janus, president and COO of ISCO, adds, “Although additional financing will be needed in 2009 to reach our goal, we believe our Lifeline subsidiary has the ability to bring the company to profitability within two years and support the clinical research of the company thereafter.” The company’s “Lifeline” subsidiary produces the particular stem cell lines in which the company specializes and from which the bulk of revenue is expected to be generated.
ISCO is the creator and developer of a new class of stem cells that are produced from its proprietary “parthenogenesis” technology, by which “parthenote cell lines” are obtained from unfertilized eggs that contain only the DNA of the donor and which therefore involve neither fertilized ova nor embryos. Parthenote cell lines are diploid and contain a full complement of genes and can be differentiated into all major cell types. As described on ISCO’s website, parthenote cell lines “display typical hESC (human embryonic stem cell) morphology, differentiate into all three embryonic germ layers and are immune matched (Major Histocompatability Complex matched) to the donors.”
ISCO’s parthenote cell lines have already been differentited into retinal cells, human corneal tissue, liver cells and heart cells, and work is currently in progress to differentiate the the cells into pancreatic beta islet cells.