International Stem Cell Corp (OTCMKTS:ISCO) continues to move lower on significant volume in recent sessions. ISCO is a stock with a history of highly explosive moves running from pennies to over $2.50 a share back in 2010.
On February 3 ISCO announced that is has completed manufacturing of the cell bank of clinical-grade human neural stem cells using its patented process for the recently announced phase 1/2a clinical trial in Parkinson’s disease. The cell bank contains over 2.6 billion human cells, sufficient to meet the company’s foreseeable clinical trial requirements.
International Stem Cell Corp (OTCMKTS:ISCO) is a biotechnology company focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products.
ISCO’s core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos.
ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation. hpSCs offer the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell(TM).
On December 18 ISCO announced that the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled in favor of the Company and that the Company’s core technology patent applications are not covered by the prohibition on patenting embryonic stem cells. This ruling confirms the opinion of the Advocate General published in July 2014.
At issue were two patent applications filed by the Company, GB20060021068 and GB20060021069, which were rejected by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) on the grounds that the disclosed technology, parthenogenetic stem cells and methods of making these stem cells, was excluded from patentability by the EU Directive on Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions.
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This directive excludes the patentability of the “uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.” In the 2011 ruling in BrÃ¼stle vs. Greenpeace, the court defined a “human embryo” as cell types that are “capable of commencing the process of development of a human being”, including in the definition (i) a fertilized human ovum, (ii) a non-fertilized human ovum that has had its nucleus replaced with a nucleus from a mature cell and (iii) a non-fertilized human ovum whose division and further development has been stimulated by parthenogenesis.
Andrey Semechkin, Ph.D., the Company’s CEO and Co-Chairman commented “This definitive judgment clears the way for our stem cell patents to be approved in Europe while maintaining the position against patenting human embryonic stem cells, ISCO now has the ability to obtain patent protection for its parthenogenetic stem cell technology in the EU, as it has already done in the US. A strong intellectual property estate is important for investors and potential partners as we begin our upcoming clinical study using human neural stem cells derived from parthenotes using the technology described in the patent applications.”
ISCO is fully reporting OTCBB with significant revenues of $5.2 million for the 9 months ended September 30, 2014 up from $4.4 million last year. The Company stands to benefit from strategic alliances with Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., LTD. and Grupo Venta Interncional S.A de C.V will help grow revenue in newer markets.
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The favorable ruling at the CJEU gives ISCO a huge advantage and opens up investments in stem cells on a larger scale leading to the potential for strategic partnerships. Currently trading at a mere $15 million market valuation ISCO looks cheap with plenty of catalysts to drive continued price appreciation in play. This is a stock that was trading as high as $2.50 a share several years ago and has been on a straight line drop since then. From currently levels ISCO is a stock to watch.
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Disclosure: we hold no position in ISCO either long or short and we have not been compensated for this article.