Burlingame, CA, December 21, 2006 /Businesswire/ — VistaGen Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the use of embryonic stem cells as proprietary biological systems for discovery and development of novel drugs for the treatment of diabetes and neurological diseases, announced today three recent publications highlighting important advances in the understanding of how embryonic stem cells can be efficiently and reproducibly differentiated into heart and liver cells. These advances are a result of the research efforts directed by Dr. Gordon Keller, a highly regarded international stem cell scientist, Director of the McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto and Chairman of VistaGen.s Scientific Advisory Board.
In the three recent publications in Nature Biotechnology, Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, and Developmental Cell, Dr. Keller.s laboratory announced significant advancements in the understanding of how to induce and control the efficient differentiation of embryonic stem cells into important immature endoderm cells that ultimately go on to form the internal organs of the body, especially the liver and heart. These publications also expand the understanding of the culture conditions necessary to generate large populations of cells which have functional properties of liver and heart cells.
“My team’s efforts represent important building blocks we need to begin to develop new tools for multiple medical applications of ES cells, including drug discovery and screening for the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system and liver,” said Dr. Keller. Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, VistaGen’s President and CEO, added, “We are very encouraged by the advancements made by Dr. Keller’s research, and are excited to work in concert with him to develop reproducible and powerful biological systems that will open new approaches in the field of predictive toxicology assays involving the two most important target organs, the heart and liver, as well as new opportunities for drug discovery, especially in diabetes.”
About VistaGen Therapeutics
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the use of embryonic stem cells (“ES Cell”) as proprietary and patented biological systems for drug discovery and development. VistaGen’s core product is an ES Cell-based R&D platform that could revolutionize discovery and development of breakthrough therapies for a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes and neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. VistaGen’s ES Cell technologies can be used to design powerful tissue-, biochemical pathway-, and disease-specific high throughput drug discovery screens suitable in the current research setting at pharmaceutical companies worldwide. VistaGen is using its ES cell-based platform to develop drugs for neurological and metabolic diseases, and for drug discovery and development partnerships in other therapeutic fields. VistaGen believes that widespread use of its ES Cell technologies and biological systems will enable the discovery and development of innovative, large market therapeutic agents with greater efficiency compared to current, traditional discovery techniques.
H. Ralph Snodgrass, President and CEO
Note: This Press Release was modified on April 9, 2010.