SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - April 23, 2014) - VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: VSTA), a biotechnology company applying pluripotent stem cell technology for drug rescue and regenerative medicine, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent Application 12/836,275, entitled "Cell populations enriched for endoderm cells." This patent will extend VistaGen's intellectual property portfolio for pluripotent stem cell culture systems that produce human cells of the endoderm lineage, including liver, lung, pancreas, parathyroid and thyroid cells. When issued, the new patent will complement U.S. Patent Nos. 7,763,466, 8,512,957 and 8,143,009, each licensed exclusively by VistaGen from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
"This patent allowance is another critical step in extending intellectual property protection for our stem cell technology platform. LiverSafe 3D™, one of our core assay systems for drug rescue, in particular stands to benefit greatly from this broader intellectual property protection," stated Shawn K. Singh, VistaGen's Chief Executive Officer.
"In addition to expanding the scope of our drug rescue opportunities, this patent allowance and our world-class differentiation expertise put VistaGen in a unique position to pursue potential stem cell research collaborations related to liver biology and drug metabolism assays, as well as pancreatic beta-islet cells for drug and regenerative cell therapy for diabetes," said Ralph Snodgrass, Ph.D., VistaGen's President and Chief Scientific Officer.
About VistaGen Therapeutics
VistaGen, a stem cell company headquartered in South San Francisco, California, is focused on drug rescue and regenerative medicine. We believe better cells lead to better medicines™ and that the key to making better cells is precisely controlling the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, which are the building blocks of all cells of the human body. For over 15 years, our stem cell research and development teams and collaborators have developed proprietary methods for controlling the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells and the production and maturation of numerous specific types of adult human cells. Our drug rescue activities are focused on combining our stem cell technology and assay development with medicinal chemistry to generate Drug Rescue Variants™. These are novel, proprietary and safer chemical variants of once-promising small molecule drug candidates discovered and developed by pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, or academic laboratories, which have positive efficacy data supporting their therapeutic and commercial potential, but have been discontinued due to unexpected heart or liver safety concerns.
VistaGen's small molecule prodrug candidate, AV-101, has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical development for treatment of neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain, a serious and chronic condition causing pain after an injury or disease of the peripheral or central nervous system, affects millions of people worldwide.
Visit VistaGen at http://www.VistaGen.com, follow VistaGen at http://www.twitter.com/VistaGen or view VistaGen's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VistaGen.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The statements in this press release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to the success of VistaGen's drug and regenerative medicine research, discovery, development and rescue activities, its ability to enter into strategic licensing and partnering arrangements, risks and uncertainties relating to its protection of its intellectual property, and the availability of substantial additional capital to support its operations, including the foregoing activities. These and other risks and uncertainties are identified and described in more detail in VistaGen's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. VistaGen undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.