Blastomere Technique Which Does Not Require Destruction of Embryos May Not Be Subject To Temporary Ruling
MARLBOROUGH, MA -August 24, 2010 (Business Wire). Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. ("ACT”; OTCBB:ACTC) commented today on yesterday's federal court ruling, temporarily blocking federal funding for embryonic stem cell research involving the destruction of embryos. The company believes that this will add to the pressure on the NIH to find appropriate sources of human ES cells that can be funded in the context of this preliminary injunction. It is notable, then, that ACT's proprietary "embryo-safe” Single Blastomere technique for deriving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), documented in Nature and CELL Stem Cell magazines and elsewhere, does not require destruction of the embryo and as a consequence may not be directly affected by this ruling. ACT does not rely on government funding for any of its research or product development. Accordingly, there is no current impact on the company's business.
The 15-page ruling, by Royce C. Lamberth, chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, said that regulations designed to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research are in violation of a law prohibiting destruction of embryos for research purposes. Judge Lamberth was exact in his language, saying that it was "the unambiguous intent of Congress to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds on research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed.”
"We think this court ruling is extremely unfortunate for the overall stem cell industry,” stated William M. Caldwell IV, Chairman and CEO of ACT. "However, we have anticipated this development for some time, and are prepared for it. We have met with a number of members of Congress over the summer with exactly this issue on our agenda, and we are confident that legislative initiatives designed to address this ruling are already underway. We believe that ACT is well positioned regardless of this ruling, as the court's pronouncement on what constitutes embryonic stem cell research that cannot be federally funded does not include ES cells derived by ACT's Blastomere technology as those cells can be generated without destruction of the embryo. While it is too early to say with certainty, we anticipate that our proprietary technique may fall outside the scope of this ruling. In addition, the company's Phase I/II trial using hESCs to treat Stargardt's disease is already fully-funded, so is not affected by this ruling.”
Mr. Caldwell continued, "In the meantime, we will continue to work with the National Institutes of Health in order to gain approval for our embryonic stem cell lines derived using our embryo-safe Single Blastomere technology. If we are successful with the NIH to this end, we will endeavor to make approved hESCs available to the research community as a means to continue this important research, particularly in light of this court ruling.”
*About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.*
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine.
Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "will,” "believes,” "plans,” "anticipates,” "expects,” "estimates,” and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change.
Dan Schustack, 212-732-4300
Gotham Communications, LLC
Bill Douglass, 646-450-3615