Effectiveness of VSEL stem cells in regenerative medicine demonstrated at the ASH meeting

NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NBS), which is a leading provider of pre-disease adult stem cell collection, processing and long-term storage services, and holds the exclusive, worldwide license to VSEL(TM) technology that uses very small embryonic-like stem cells isolated from peripheral blood, announced today that five posters and two oral presentations at the prestigious American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in New Orleans in early December demonstrated the basic cellular mechanisms of very small embryonic-like stem cells.

Very small embryonic-like stem cells are a population of heterogeneous stem cells found in the bone marrow that have properties similar to those of an embryonic stem cell and provide the promise of achieving the positive benefits associated with embryonic stem cells without the ethical or moral dilemmas or certain of the potential negative effects associated with embryonic stem cells. Important aspects of the basic understanding of why very small embryonic-like stem cells appear to be effective in clinical situations were demonstrated by the multiple presentations at the recent ASH meeting given by Dr. Mariusz Ratajczak's team of researchers from the Stem Cell Institute at the James Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville. These reports, among other things, addressed the epigenetic and genetic mechanisms that control and modify the functions of very small embryonic-like stem cells; the role of growth factors in the regulation of proliferation of very small embryonic-like stem cells; and the maintenance of very small embryonic-like stem cells in a quiescent state from the embryogenesis through adulthood, when they contribute to the steady-state conditions of tissue rejuvenation and to the regeneration of damaged organs during emergencies. It is anticipated that these seminal studies of the fundamental mechanisms by which these stem cells play their pivotal role in tissue regeneration will significantly contribute to the efficiency and efficacy of future clinical applications of very small embryonic-like stem cells.

Clinical reports on very small embryonic-like stem cells published in peer-reviewed journals during 2009 include those addressing:

Retinal diseases: A potential application of very small embryonic-like stem cells for retinal diseases as described by Dr. Anna Machalinska and colleagues from the Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland in a paper published in September in the journal Current Eye Research.

Cardiac Disease: The application of very small embryonic-like stem cells for cardiac disease as described by Drs. Dawn Tiwari, Roberto Bolli and others from the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine who published their findings in June in the journal Stem Cells on the ability of very small embryonic-like stem cells to reduce the damage to the heart caused by acute myocardial infarction. In addition, very small embryonic-like stem cells were shown to increase in the circulation of patients who have suffered an acute myocardial infarction as published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in January by Dr. Wojciech Wojakowski and colleagues from the Medical College of Silesia, Katowice, Poland. Very small embryonic-like stem cells have been shown to be mobilized by the body in response to disease suggesting that these cells have a central role in cardiac tissue repair.

Cerebral Vascular Disease: The increase in circulating very small embryonic-like stem cells in patients following a stroke was published in the journal Stroke in April by Edyta Paczkowska and her colleagues from the Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland. Further evidence of the importance of very small embryonic-like stem cells in aging is provided by a paper from the Stem Cell Institute at the James Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville authored by the group led by Dr. Mariusz Ratajczak. This paper suggests that these cells may decelerate the aging process through rejuvenation of adult tissue and was published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development, January-February issue. These two papers strongly support a role of very small embryonic-like stem cells in tissue regeneration.

Dr. Robin Smith, M.D., MBA, NeoStem's Chief Executive Officer, said, "The medical literature increasingly supports the potential of very small embryonic-like stem cells as therapy in regenerative medicine. NeoStem will continue to support basic cell biology studies elucidating the unique properties of very small embryonic-like stem cells and exploring the therapeutic use of VSEL(TM) technology for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions." Dr. Smith further added, "We believe that access to a continuous source of stem cells through our stem cell collection and banking program will allow us to implement our own regenerative medicine applications on an ongoing basis that could eventually result in a fundamental shift in the way healthcare is administered."

SOURCE NeoStem, Inc.

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