Healthcare Industry News:  Lexicon Genetics 

Biopharmaceuticals Regenerative Medicine Licensing

 News Release - February 20, 2007

Stem Cell Sciences Licenses Neural Stem Cell Technology to Merck & Co., Inc.

Agreement Includes License Fee and Development Milestone Payments

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Stem Cell Sciences plc, (LSE: AIM, "STEM") has licensed the use of their novel mouse neural stem cell technology to Merck & Co., Inc. for research use. Financial terms were not disclosed, but include a signing fee and milestone payments.

SCS believes NS cells have potential broad research applications. This includes their use in target identification/validation studies, as well as in small molecule library screening applications.

The cells and technology will be supplied by SCS from its newly opened facility in Cambridge, UK, where the Group offers a range of services to the bio-pharmaceutical industry through its SC Services business unit. With its state of the art automated cell culture equipment, SC Services provides the capability for the routine growth of stem cells including NS cells in the numbers required for high content drug screens and assays. Furthermore, SC Services offers conversion of serum based cell lines to serum free systems, specialist genetic engineering and contract cell production.

In commenting on the agreement, David Dodd, Chairman of SCS, said: "We're very pleased to see our mouse neural stem cells being licensed by Merck and others throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Our strategy includes working with key partners to expand the widespread use of stem cells in drug discovery."

About Stem Cell Sciences plc

Stem Cell Sciences plc (SCS, AIM: STEM) is a global biotechnology company, established in Melbourne, Australia in 1994, providing products in the burgeoning stem cell research and drug discovery markets, in addition to the targeted development of cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disease and injury.

The Company has established a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology portfolio that enables the commercial application of stem cells in drug discovery, providing the Company with early-stage revenue streams and technology development for at scale cell production of SCS cell-based therapeutics. SCS principal focus is in neurological disease. Revenues in the neurotech market, including pharmaceuticals, devices and diagnostics, grew 10% in 2005 to US$110 billion Neurotech Insights, Volume 2/3 April 30 2006.

SCS operates as a group of independent operations with laboratories in Scotland, Japan and Australia, each of which is affiliated with an academic centre of excellence. These include the Institute of Stem Cell Research (ISCR), Edinburgh, UK, RIKEN Centre for Development Biology, Kobe, Japan and the Australian Stem Cell Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

SCS has four business units focused on key sustainable business strategies.

SC ProvenŽ provides cell culture media (liquid formulations) and research reagents that enable the growth and differentiation of stem cells. Commercially available products include a novel, serum-free, feeder-free mouse stem cell growth medium, and a novel animal component free human stem cell medium. These are both exclusively licensed for manufacture and marketing to Chemicon, part of Millipore Corporation.

SC Licensing licenses SCS proprietary technologies, such as Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) and Stem Cell Selection, for application in laboratory-based research and discovery. SCS has licensed technology to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Deltagen Inc and Lexicon Genetics Inc.

SC Services provides specialised stem cell production for basic research and drug discovery, including high-throughput applications.

SC Therapies' goal is to develop safe and effective cell-based therapies for currently incurable diseases. SCS is conducting preclinical evaluations of its neural stem cell lines in a number of therapeutic applications. The first preclinical programme being undertaken by SCS is in spinal cord injury repair. Its Japanese affiliate SCS KK will conduct preclinical studies for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2007-8.

For further information on the company please visit: www.stemcellsciences.com



Source: Stem Cell Sciences

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