Stem Cells Inc announces new CEO and chronic SCI focus going forward

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM), a world leader in the research and development of cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, today announced that Dr. Ian Massey, its President and Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed by the Board of Directors to succeed Martin McGlynn as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, effective January 18, 2016. Massey has additionally been elected to the Board.

Ian Massey, Ph.D. Stem Cells Inc. CEO

Ian Massey, Ph.D.
Stem Cells Inc. CEO

Massey and McGlynn have worked closely together since March of last year, and over the past few months jointly architected the Company’s recently announced strategic realignment, which fully focuses StemCell’s resources on its proprietary HuCNS-SC® platform technology for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). The two will continue to collaborate, with McGlynn serving as a consultant over the next year, to facilitate a smooth leadership transition as the Company expedites its SCI program to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept. Read more:

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM), a world leader in the research and development of cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of disorders of the central nervous system, today announced a strategic realignment to fully focus the Company’s resources on its proprietary HuCNS-SC® platform technology for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury (SCI).

Evidence of efficacy from the Company’s ongoing clinical trials in chronic SCI offers therapeutic promise to restore lost function previously considered unrecoverable. StemCells recently reported a pattern of improvements in both strength and motor function, six months post-transplant of its proprietary HuCNS-SC cells, in the first cohort of its Phase II Pathway™ Study in cervical spinal cord injury. These interim findings are especially compelling given that all patients were treated between 10 to 23 months post-injury. Spontaneous motor recovery is not expected in SCI at this late stage after injury. Moreover, the emerging Phase II data are consistent with the evolution of positive outcomes seen in the Company’s previous Phase I/II study in thoracic SCI, in which measurable sensory gains were reported in the majority of patients, and two of the seven patients enrolled with complete injuries (AIS A) converted to incomplete injuries (AIS B).

“The decision to prioritize our spinal cord injury program required some difficult choices, including the suspension of the Company’s Phase II Radiant™ Study in geographic atrophy of age-related macular degeneration (GA-AMD) while we seek a partner to fund continued development in retinal disorders,” said StemCells’ CEO Martin McGlynn. “Given the strength of our clinical findings for the safety and preliminary efficacy of our HuCNS-SC platform technology in treating chronic spinal cord injury, we have decided that now is the time to narrow our focus. Our overall mission remains the same: to realize the full potential of cell-based therapeutics as a one-time intervention yielding a long-term benefit for millions of patients affected by intractable diseases and disorders of the central nervous system. While our programs addressing neurodegenerative diseases and retinal disorders have also shown great promise, we have concluded that the most effective way to accomplish our objective is by concentrating our limited corporate resources on the program with which we are making the most rapid progress — chronic spinal cord injury.”

“We have sound reason for high confidence in our SCI program,” McGlynn noted. “We believe this singular focus on chronic spinal cord injury is the right course of action for our Company, as it expedites the opportunity to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept for our lead product candidate, thereby best serving the patients who would benefit, while creating substantial long-term value for our stockholders as early as possible.

“We wish to thank the patients and clinicians who have participated in our clinical studies to date, as well as the many dedicated colleagues who have been instrumental in achieving our successes thus far. Our hope is that by focusing now on our most advanced program, we will be paving the way to further address other disorders in the future.”

Here is the podcast announcement explaining the decision to focus solely on chronic SCI. LINK

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