updated 11/3/2010 12:15:29 AM ET 2010-11-03T04:15:29

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) announced today that it has been awarded cash grants by the U.S. government totaling $977,917 for projects related to the Company's development of cell-based therapeutics targeting the central nervous system (CNS) and the liver. The funds will be used to advance the preclinical and clinical development of the Company's HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) for diseases and disorders affecting the brain, the spinal cord and the eye, as well as the further development of the Company's hLEC™ human liver engrafting cells. All four project applications submitted by StemCells were approved, and the Company expects to receive payment for the entire grant amounts during the fourth quarter of 2010.

"This recognition by the federal government of the promise of cell-based therapeutics in general, and of our innovative technology in particular, is very gratifying," said Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells, Inc.  

These grants were certified under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) program, which was created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The QTDP program provides support for innovative projects that are determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to (i) have the potential to develop new treatments that address unmet medical needs or chronic and acute diseases; (ii) reduce long-term health care costs; (iii) represent a significant advance in finding a cure for cancer; (iv) advance U.S. competitiveness in the fields of life, biological, and medical sciences; or (v) create or sustain well-paying jobs, either directly or indirectly.

About StemCells, Inc.

StemCells, Inc. is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics and tools for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery. In its therapeutic product development programs, StemCells is targeting diseases of the central nervous system and liver. StemCells' 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. StemCells also markets specialty cell culture products under the SC Proven®brand, and is developing stem cell-based assay platforms for use in pharmaceutical research, drug discovery and drug development. Further information about StemCells is available at www.stemcellsinc.com .

The StemCells, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7014

Apart from statements of historical fact, the text of this press release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. securities laws, and is subject to the safe harbors created therein. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the future business operations of StemCells, Inc. (the "Company"). These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the clinical development of its HuCNS-SC cells; the Company's ability to commercialize drug discovery and drug development tools ; and the future business operations of the Company. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof. Such statements reflect management's current views and are based on certain assumptions that may or may not ultimately prove valid. The Company's actual results may vary materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties to which the Company is subject, including those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

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