StemCells receives U.S. patent for propagation and/or derivation of embryonic stem cells

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM) announced today that it has received a Notice of Allowance and a Notice of Issuance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for two patents claiming technologies for the establishment and maintenance of cell pluripotency (the ability to become any cell in the body, which is the defining attribute of embryonic stem cells), including the reprogramming of cells to create pluripotent stem cells. These patents strengthen the Company’s intellectual property position in both the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell and embryonic stem (ES) cell fields, and reflect the value that StemCells continues to derive from its April 2009 acquisition of the operating business of Stem Cell Sciences Plc.

The issued patent, U.S. Patent Number 7,595,193, “Propagation and/or Derivation of Embryonic Stem Cells,” claims a cell-free culture medium containing MEK inhibitors (small molecule compounds), which is applicable to the establishment and maintenance of cell pluripotency. This technology can be used to create and maintain ES cell lines, as well as to reprogram somatic cells (such as adult skin cells) to derive iPS cells.

The allowed patent, U.S. Patent Application Number 10/502,972, “Pluripotency Determining Factor and Uses Thereof,” covers the use of the Nanog gene in maintaining human and mouse ES cells in a pluripotent state. A related U.S. application from this same patent family claims the use of the Nanog gene in cell reprogramming. The Nanog gene codes for a protein which plays a key role in the ability of ES cells to multiply while remaining pluripotent, and can also be used to reprogram somatic cells into a fully pluripotent state.

The Company owns or has exclusive rights to approximately 55 issued or allowed U.S. patents and approximately 200 granted or allowed non-U.S. patents. Many of the Company’s core patents, including U.S. Patent Numbers 5,750,376, 5,851,832, 5,968,829, 7,101,709, 7,153,686, and 7,361,505, include claims covering composition of matter and methods for the isolation, expansion, genetic manipulation, and use of neural stem and progenitor cells for both therapeutic use and non-therapeutic applications such as drug discovery and screening.


StemCells, Inc.


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