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StemCells, Inc. Welcomes Approval of First Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Under new NIH Guidelines

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StemCells, Inc. announced that it welcomes the approval by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the first 13 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines for use in NIH-funded research under the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research adopted in July 2009.

The guidelines implement President Obama’s executive order of March 9, 2009 permitting the federal government, through the NIH, to support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research.

Stem cell research holds the potential to advance the understanding of many diseases at a fundamental, cellular level, and may open new avenues for treatments or cures. The Company considers this action by the federal government as a critical first step for the advancement of the stem cell field and for the future practice of medicine.

StemCells is focused on the development and commercialization of cell-based technologies, including technologies relating to embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and tissue-derived (adult) stem cells. In its cellular medicine product development programs, the Company is currently focused on developing tissue-derived (adult) stem cells as cell-based therapeutics.

The Company’s lead product candidate, HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural stem cells), is in clinical development for the treatment of two fatal neurodegenerative disorders that primarily affect young children.

Through the acquisition of the operating business of Stem Cell Sciences Plc in April of this year, StemCells added a number of proprietary assets relating to a range of stem and progenitor cell technologies, including four embryonic stem cell lines (MEL 1 to 4), which were developed by Company scientists, cell culture media for iPS derivation, and expertise and infrastructure for providing cell-based assays for drug discovery using a variety of cell types. While not currently developing embryonic stem cells for therapeutic use, the Company is presently evaluating the many cell lines acquired from Stem Cell Sciences, including embryonic stem cells, as potential therapeutics for diseases and disorders of the central nervous system.