International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)
International Stem Cell Corp. is a California-based biotech company developing novel stem cell-based therapies based on the company’s core technology, parthenogenesis. Utilizing this technology, ISCO has produced pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized human eggs to create the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals, regardless of gender, age or racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation.
For now, ISCO scientists are focused on applying its technology to treat severe unmet medical needs of the central nervous system (Parkinson’s disease), the liver, and the eye, where cell therapy has been clinically proven but is limited due to adequate availability of safe human cells. Upon clinical validation of the technology, there are an essentially unlimited number of potential applications. ISCO's scientists are also making significant advances in human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) derivation with a novel protein-based reprogramming method that is a safer and more efficient alternative to cell reprogramming. The company is currently working toward shortening the cell reprogramming step to as little as one week, as compared to the traditional six-week time frame.
ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology (LCT) (www.lifelinecelltech.com), and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care (LSC) (www.lifelineskincare.com).
Most recent sales figures (Q3 2013) were $1.7 million, up 41% from $1.2 million in Q3 2012. Sales for LCT were $860,000, up 30% year-over-year, while LSC revenues increased to $810,000, up 54% over the corresponding period in 2012. The company also decreased its loss from operations by 18 percent to $1.7 million, compared to a loss of $2.1 million in the same period in 2012.
Midwest Energy Emissions Corp. (MEEC)
Midwest Energy Emissions Corp. develops and delivers patented, cost-effective mercury capture systems and technologies to power plants and other coal-burning units in the United States and Canada. The company’s innovative, patented mercury removal technologies enable customers to effectively and affordably attain compliance with new, highly restrictive government emissions regulations.
Per the new regulations, all coal and oil-fired power plants must reduce roughly 90% of mercury emissions by April 2015 in order to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). By demonstrating the ability of its mercury emissions technology to meet and exceed these requirements, Midwest Energy Emissions has emerged as a viable resource for power plants seeking efficient and affordable compliance solutions.
The full line of Mercury Energy Emissions products covers the SEA™ system products as well as a complete line of sorbents for backend system applications across all boiler types. The ME2C Sorbents line consists of several proven, environmentally friendly and low-cost proprietary sorbents that meet and exceed the mercury mitigation requirements. The sorbent product line has been developed and fully demonstrated in long-term field testing over a dozen utilities across North America over the past several years with tremendous results.
Through a recently amended licensing agreement, Midwest Energy Emissions has obtained two new patents and two new patent applications in mercury emissions control, bringing its licensing portfolio to a total of 25 patents or patents pending. Midwest Energy Emissions CEO Alan Kelley in a recent year-end operation update said the company has signed the first of several anticipated letter of intent as it enters into the “growth and execution phase” of its business. Kelly said team management anticipates “meaningful traction” in the first quarter of 2014 that will provide further detail of what this phase entails.
On the Move Systems, Inc. (OMVS)
On the Move Systems, Inc. is looking to revolutionize the travel industry through its unique ISTx software designed to manage and support services and routes across multiple private/commercial carriers through this single platform. With development of the platform underway, the company is expanding in three divisions: Charter Services, Inter-Modal Freight, and Animal/Exotic Transport.
The Charter Services Division offers private charter airplane owners the opportunity to enter a network where planes will be available "on-call" for on-demand private air charter services. The Inter-Modal Freight Division provides charter and freight shipping services to clients who need to expedite shipment of cargo and freight globally – including medical transport for tissue and isotopes. The company's Animal/Exotic Transport Division affords clients the security of safely transporting pets and animals without the accompaniment of the owner.
For 2014, On the Move says it is pursuing “dramatic expansion” based on a new business plan to capitalize on the incredible growth of online travel and transportation booking. The company worked hard throughout 2013 to line up partnerships and opportunities capable of offering niche services through the ISTx platform. As part of this strategy, On the Move has invested in travel and transportation innovators such as JetSet Car Service, an exclusive chauffeuring company, and has opened negotiations with the Xperience, a company offering fantasy sports getaways.
As the online travel segment continues to grow at accelerated pace, On the Move Systems continues the development of its technology and is seeking out promising new innovations and niche offerings in the trillion dollar travel industry, with a vision to seamlessly converge integrated business applications, logistics inventory availability, and customers into a high-quality, efficient and secure source.
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA)
Biotech innovator VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. applies its stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy. Drug rescue applies human stem cell technology to modern medicinal chemistry to generate new chemical variants, called drug rescue variants, of drug candidates that once demonstrated efficacy potential but were discontinued during late-stage preclinical development due to heart or liver safety concerns. VistaGen also focuses on regenerative medicine, which includes repairing, replacing or restoring damaged tissues or organs.
AV-101 is VistaGen’s lead small molecule drug candidate, which has successfully completed phase 1 development in the U.S. for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Through awards of more than $8.8 million from the Nation Institute of Health, VistaGen is conducting further development of AV-101, and believes that its phase 1 safety program will enable phase 2 development of the drug candidate for neuropathic pain, other neurological conditions and depression.
A recent article in the Nature Reviews research journal, AV-101 was pegged as a notable contender in the search for a new generation of antidepressants. “The race is on to introduce safe and effective rapidly acting antidepressants for the most seriously ill mood disorder patients,” stated Sanjay J. Mathew of the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. “There are multiple such agents in early phases of development, including S-ketamine (the S-isomer of the racemic ketamine), GLYX-13 (a partial NMDA receptor agonist) and AV-101, a selective blocker of the regulatory GlyB site of the NMDA receptor.”
Other candidates in VistaGen’s pipeline include CardioSafe 3D™, a novel three-dimensional (3D) bioassay system for predicting the in vivo cardiac effects of new drug candidates before they are tested in humans; and LiverSafe 3D™, a novel predictive liver toxicity and drug metabolism bioassay system for drug rescue applications. In parallel with drug rescue activities, VistaGen is funding early-stage nonclinical studies focused on potential cell therapy applications of its Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ platform.