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Stem Cell Sciences Licenses Neural Stem Cell Technology to Merck & Co.

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Stem Cell Sciences plc,( SCS) has licensed the use of their mouse neural stem cell technology to Merck & Co. Inc. for research use. Financial terms were not disclosed, but include a signing fee and milestone payments.

SCS believes NS cells have potential broad research applications. This includes their use in target identification/validation studies, as well as in small molecule library screening applications.

The cells and technology will be supplied by SCS from its newly opened facility in Cambridge, UK, where the Group offers a range of services to the bio-pharmaceutical industry through its SC Services business unit. With its automated cell culture equipment, SC Services provides the capability for the routine growth of stem cells including NS cells in the numbers required for high content drug screens and assays.

Furthermore, SC Services offers conversion of serum based cell lines to serum free systems, specialist genetic engineering and contract cell production.

In commenting on the agreement, David Dodd, Chairman of SCS, said: "We're very pleased to see our mouse neural stem cells being licensed by Merck and others throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Our strategy includes working with key partners to expand the widespread use of stem cells in drug discovery."