NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), an international biopharmaceutical company with operations in the U.S. and China, commented today on the ruling this week of a U.S. District Court blocking the federal government from funding research involving human embryonic stem cells. In issuing a preliminary injunction, the judge said it violated a law first passed in 1996 prohibiting federal money for research where a human embryo is destroyed.
NeoStem's proprietary VSEL™ Technology utilizes a population of adult stem cells known as very small embryonic-like stem cells. Very small embryonic-like stem cells are a heterogeneous population of stem cells found in adult bone marrow that have properties similar to those of embryonic stem cells without being embryonic stem cells. These cells have the potential to achieve the positive benefits associated with embryonic stem cells without destroying a fetus. In fact, earlier this summer the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture showed its support for NeoStem's VSEL™ Technology by entering into with NeoStem the Council's first-ever contractual collaboration with an outside commercial venture to advance adult stem cell research.
"This unexpected halt to Federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research makes NeoStem's efforts to develop stem cell therapies using our proprietary VSEL™ Technology even more important today than it was just last week," commented Dr. Robin Smith, NeoStem's Chairman and CEO. "Our studies are showing that these pluripotent stem cells can be mobilized from the bone marrow and collected from the peripheral blood. This is all accomplished without the legal and moral issues related to the use of embryonic stem cells and is therefore not impacted by this Court ruling. Furthermore, the autologous (one's own) availability of very small embryonic-like stem cells eliminates the risk of rejection by the body as not being one's own, as well as the risk of infectious disease, graft versus host disease and not finding a match when cells are needed."