International Stem Cell Corp. today released an update regarding significant progress made on its international development strategy for stem cell-derived human corneal tissue, which can serve as a replacement for cadaver-derived corneas and to eliminate the use of live animals in safety testing of drugs, chemicals and consumer products.

ISCO’s senior management team recently traveled to Asia and Europe to research and convene with a group of integrated eye hospitals and ophthalmology research institutions. The team also met with potential sources of research funding, including India-based Sankara Nethralaya (www.sankaranethralaya.org), a leading non-profit clinical and research organization focused on the treatment of eye diseases.

ISCO said it plans to cultivate relationships with several organizations like Sankara Nethralaya that can provide financial, scientific and laboratory leverage for ISCO’s cornea development program.

“At Sankara Nethralaya, we see 1,600 eye patients and do over 100 eye surgeries a day. We employ sixty scientists and clinicians dedicated to the development and application of new state-of-the-art ophthalmic technologies. My senior team at Sankara Nethralaya and I look forward to helping ISCO advance its cornea technology that has potential to significantly reduce the severe quantitative and qualitative limitations in corneal donor tissue across the world today,” Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, president and chairman emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya stated in the press release.

“The addition of Sankara Nethralaya to our international collaborative network will contribute substantial scientific and clinical ophthalmology expertise and resources and complement the instrumentation alliance with The Automation Partnership and the safety testing collaboration with Absorptions Systems. The next step is to organize an experienced therapeutic development team to establish the optimal development path with relevant regulatory authorities and create data needed to advance ISCO’s stem cell-derived corneal tissue into clinical trials,” Brian Lundstrom, ISCO’s president stated.

For more information visit www.internationalstemcell.com