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StemCells obtains neural stem cell patent.

StemCells, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted United States Patent 6,497,872 with broad claims covering the transplantation of mammalian tissue-derived neural stem cells and their progeny into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system including the spinal cord. The patent, of which StemCells is the exclusive licensee, also covers transplantation of cells derived from neural stem cells and genetically altered cells. In addition, United States Patent 6,498,018 for drug screening using human neural stem cell cultures and United States Patent 6,468,794 covering methods for producing a cell population enriched for neural stem cells that can initiate neurospheres, have recently been issued to the company.

"The issuance of United States Patent 6,497,872 is an extremely important event for StemCells. It is the first patent to be issued anywhere in the world with claims covering transplantation uses of human neural stem cells," said Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells. "The claims cover the transplantation of neural stem cells themselves as well as neurons or glial cells derived from the stem cells; thus, for example, transplantation of stem cells or neurons derived from neural stem cells for the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, stroke or spinal cord injury would be subject to the claims of this patent irrespective of the culture method used to grow the cells. Moreover, the claims cover both normal and genetically modified neural cells, so the patent also covers gene therapy applications using neural stem cells. We view the grant of patent number 6,498,018 as having the potential to broaden the company's future product range to include drug screening as well as disease treatment, and United States Patent 6,468,794 as protecting the company's position in respect to commercially feasible methods for producing therapeutic numbers of vigorous neural stem cells."

The issuance of these patents adds to StemCells' portfolio of more than 30 issued patents in the neural stem cell field, enhancing the company's position in the therapeutic, diagnostic, genomics and drug discovery uses of neural stem cells.

StemCells is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of stem cell-based therapies to treat diseases of the nervous system, liver, and pancreas. The company's stem cell programs seek to repair or repopulate neural or other tissue that has been damaged or lost as a result of disease or injury.

StemCells, Inc. +1-650-475-3100 www.stemcellsinc.com
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Title Annotation:StemCells Inc.
Comment:StemCells obtains neural stem cell patent.(StemCells Inc.)
Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:413
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