updated 3/29/2011 9:16:23 AM ET 2011-03-29T13:16:23

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 29, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) announced today the launch of three new cell culture supplements for the derivation, culture and differentiation of human and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and tissue-derived neural stem (NS) cells.1-13 The research community demands reliable and cost-effective options for the reagents they routinely use to capture, define and instruct stem cell behavior. These new supplements satisfy this demand by providing researchers with additional choices to use either a defined, serum-free, or a defined, serum-free and animal component-free (AF) version of culture supplements that are considered to be fundamental reagents for stem cell research.

"We are pleased to continue growing and diversifying our SC Proven® reagents business to meet the needs of the burgeoning stem cell research market," said Stewart Craig, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Development and Operations at StemCells, Inc.  "In 2010, SC Proven product sales revenue grew by approximately 30%, and we are continuing to experience double digit growth this year. 

 "Our expanding line of SC Proven cell culture supplements provides researchers with well-defined reagents that are free of the serum and animal protein-derived contaminants that can cause variability of performance and impair analyses, particularly in the context of stem cell-based drug screens," continued Dr. Craig. "Furthermore, the use of animal component-free formulations is an important consideration for researchers considering bench-to-bedside applications in which human stem cell lines may be derived, expanded and banked for potential future translation into clinical trials."

NDiff® N2-AF is a proprietary, defined, serum-free and animal component-free version of the Company's NDiff N2 product, a proprietary, defined, serum-free cell culture supplement based on the original Bottenstein formulation.1

NDiff N27 is a proprietary, defined, serum-free cell culture supplement based on the original Brewer formulation.2

NDiff N27-AF is a proprietary, defined, serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N27.

About SC Proven Products

The SC Proven product portfolio comprises a range of products for the detection, isolation, expansion, differentiation, and characterization of a variety of different human and animal cell types. The entire SC Proven product catalog and online ordering can be found at www.scproven.com

References

  1. Bottenstein JE, Cell Culture in the Neurosciences, (1985) Plenum Press: New York and London.
  2. Brewer G, et al., Optimized Survival of Hippocampal Neurons in B27-Supplemented Neurobasal™, a New Serum-free Medium Combination. J. Neurosci. Res. (1993) 35:567–576.
  3. Ying QL, Smith AG, Defined conditions for neural commitment and differentiation. Methods Enzymol. (2008) 365:327-341.
  4. Ying QL, et al., Conversion of embryonic stem cells into neuroectodermal precursors in adherent monoculture. Nature Biotechnology (2003) 21:183-186.
  5. Conti L, et al., Niche-independent symmetrical self-renewal of a mammalian tissue stem cell. PLoS Biol. (2005) 3(9):e283.
  6. Pollard SM, et al., Adherent neural stem (NS) cells from fetal and adult forebrain. Cereb. Cortex (2006) 16 Suppl 1:112-20.
  7. Conti L, et al., Neural stem cell systems: diversities and properties after transplantation in animal models of diseases. Brain Pathol. (2006) 16(2):143-154.
  8. Nichols J, Ying QL, Derivation and propagation of embryonic stem cells in serum- and feeder-free culture. Methods Mol Biol. (2006) 329:91-98.
  9. Liu Y, et al., A novel chemical-defined medium with bFGF and N2B27 supplements supports undifferentiated growth in human embryonic stem cells. BBRC (2006)346:131-139
  10. Yao S, et al., Long-term self-renewal and directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells in chemically defined conditions. PNAS (2006) 103(18):6907–6912.
  11. Hanna J, et al., Human embryonic stem cells with biological and epigenetic characteristics similar to those of mouse ES cells. PNAS (2010) 107(20):9222-7.
  12. Yu J, et al., Efficient Feeder-Free Episomal Reprogramming with Small Molecules. PLoS ONE (2011) 6 (3):e17557.
  13. Tsutsui H, et al., An optimized small molecule inhibitor cocktail supports long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells. Nat Commun. (2011) 2:167.

About StemCells, Inc.

StemCells, Inc. is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of cell-based therapeutics and tools for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery. In its therapeutic product development programs, StemCells is targeting disorders of the central nervous system and the liver. StemCells' lead product candidate, HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural stem cells), is currently in clinical development for spinal cord injury and two fatal neurodegenerative disorders in children, and in preclinical development for retinal disorders such as age-related macular degeneration. StemCells also markets stem cell research products, including media and reagents, 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 prospect of continued growth of the Company's SC Proven reagents business; the potential regulatory acceptability of cell culture supplements used to derive cells for human research; clinical development of the Company's HuCNS-SC cells; the prospects for the Company to pursue non-therapeutic applications of its cell-based technologies; 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, 2010, and in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K.

CONTACT: Megan Meloni
         Media Relations & Corporate Communications
         (650) 475-3105

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