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StemCyte Expands Support of World Renowned Spinal Cord Injury Researcher

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    StemCyte Expands Support of World Renowned Spinal Cord Injury Researcher

    StemCyte Expands Support of World Renowned Spinal Cord Injury Researcher Through Agreement with Rutgers University

    StemCyte, Rutgers Sign Research, Licensing Agreement for Novel Human Umbilical Cord Blood Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury Being Developed by Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.

    NEW YORK, February 26, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- StemCyte Inc. and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, today announced at the Stem Cell Summit that they have entered into a research and licensing agreement for a spinal cord injury therapy being developed by Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., that uses StemCyte's proprietary human umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells in conjunction with lithium.

    Under the terms of the agreement, StemCyte will provide financial sponsorship for Dr. Young's work at Rutgers' W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience and receive exclusive commercialization rights to the therapy. If the product or other assets resulting from the collaboration are successfully commercialized, Rutgers will receive royalties. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
    "We have provided UCB products to support Dr. Young's research for several years," said Kenneth J. Giacin, chairman and chief executive officer of StemCyte. "By combining our expertise in UCB stem cells with Dr. Young's experience in spinal cord injury research, we believe that we can develop a treatment that will hold great promise for patients."

    Dr. Young's previous research resulted in the administration of high doses of methylprednisolone within eight hours of an injury becoming the first and only currently available therapy for spinal cord injury. He has now conducted preclinical studies at Rutgers' Keck Center to determine the growth factor stimulation of stem cells treated with lithium salt. From these studies, Dr. Young concluded that UCB stem cells are the only type of stem cells that, when treated with lithium salt, have a neurotrophic effect that may be used to effectively treat spinal cord injuries. A patent application for his invention has been previously submitted.

    "UCB stem cells have a greater production or expression of growth factors such as cell survival factors, anti-differentiation factors and combinations than other types of stem cells when treated with lithium salt," said Dr. Young. "As a result, we believe that these cells will have significant therapeutic benefit and hope to treat our first patient in clinical trials later this year."

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