International Stem Cell Corp. yesterday announced it has launched a series of preclinical animal studies of neuronal cells derived from ISCO’s proprietary pluripotent stem cells from unfertilized eggs, with a long-term endpoint of creating a regenerative therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

PD is a disease afflicting the central nervous system, with some symptoms stemming from the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the mid brain.

ISCO’s approach to develop cell-based therapy for the treatment of PD is first to derive neuronal cells successfully from human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC). The next step is to evaluate the in vivo safety, functionality and efficacy of hpSCs.

“The ability of neuronal cells to become a specific type of neuron is one of the most important properties that these cells must have to be used in cell-based therapy of neurological disorders. These studies will bring us one step closer to our goal of being able to treat PD,” Dr. Andrey Semechkin, CEO of ISCO stated in the press release.

ISCO uses unfertilized oocytes (eggs) to create hpSC, a method that boasts several advantages over other types of human stem cells. Like human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), hpSCs are pluripotent, which means they carry the ability to become almost any cell type in the body.

Where hpSCs differ from hESCs is in their ability to become a cell form that can be immunologically matched to millions of individuals, creating deeper potential for regenerative therapy.

For more information visit www.internationalstemcell.com