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International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO) Building Value through Development of Therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease

International Stem Cell Corp. (OTCQB: ISCO) is considered among industry experts as a leader and pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine as a result of its development of a new class of stem cells. These cells, known as human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs), possess the best characteristics of each of the other classes of stem cells. These stem cells are created by way of chemically stimulating the oocytes (eggs) to begin division. The oocytes are not fertilized and no viable embryo is created or destroyed. The ethical advantage of derivation from unfertilized oocytes makes these stem cells a promising source for the cell-based therapeutics industry.

ISCO is a biotech company that funnels its endeavors toward the development of therapeutic and biomedical products on a global scale. The company’s products are based on human parthenogenetic stem cells, a proprietary type of pluripotent stem cells. Additionally, the company develops neural stem cells, which are commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and a variety of other neurological disorders.

Studies on the amount of money spent annually on the treatment of PD are nothing short of stunning. It is estimated that the combined direct and indirect costs of PD in the U.S. – which include treatment, social security payments and lost income due to the patient’s inability to work – is in the range of $25 billion. Medication costs for an individual afflicted with this disease average $2,500 a year. Furthermore, The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has estimated that therapeutic surgery can cost up to $100,000 per individual.

Caused by the death of dopamine-producing cells in a brain region called the substantia nigra, PD typically results in severely restricted movement. Today’s treatments focus primarily on replacing the lost dopamine, but these treatments eventually fail, as the dopamine-making cells continue to die. It is through this process that stem cell therapy is of particular interest. Stem cell research has the potential to positively impact the development of disease-modifying treatments for PD. Enormous progress has been made in the area of creating dopamine-producing cells from stem cells, while the development of new cell models of PD has created a promising area of stem cell research as a whole.

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