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Positive Preclinical Data on Cell Therapy for Spinal Disc Repair Presented at 23rd Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society
Date:10/16/2008

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- ISTO Technologies, Inc., a privately held orthobiologics company, today announced positive preclinical data related to its NuQu(TM) injectable cell-based therapy for spinal disc repair. The data was presented in Toronto, Canada at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society. Studies carried out at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Orthopedics were designed to investigate potential applications of ISTO's core cell-based platform technology (juvenile cartilage cells) as a non-invasive procedure for treatment of degenerative intervertebral disc. In these pre-clinical studies, the disc nucleus from adult pigs was removed and replaced with juvenile chondrocytes in a protein gel carrier.

"We are encouraged by the results of the UCSF preclinical studies and we believe ISTO's cell-based therapy may offer a breakthrough for early non- surgical intervention for patients suffering from back pain," said Mitchell Seyedin, Ph.D., President & CEO.

"Because the disc environment is only conducive to highly specialized cells, the purpose of this preclinical study was to evaluate whether juvenile cartilage cells can effectively replace and regenerate cartilage in the nucleus," said Jeffrey Lotz, Ph.D., Director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory at UCSF. "We are very encouraged by the fact, that in several animal studies, these cells have shown the ability to generate cartilage in the disc nucleus in a predictable and consistent basis," said Dr. Lotz.

NuQu is being developed as a non-invasive treatment for degenerative disc disease for patients who are suffering from low back pain and have failed to respond to conservative therapy. The economic and social impact of back pain due to disc degeneration places a tremendous burden on patients, the healthcare system and the overall economy. Today, there is no effective treatment for degenerative disc disease.

Disc degeneration, thought to be the major cause of back pain, begins in the nucleus and is accompanied by cell death and tissue destruction. Cartilage regeneration is often called the "holy grail" of the orthopedic industry because of its potential to restore function to damaged joints and spinal discs which otherwise have limited healing potential. Cartilage serves as a "shock absorber", protecting all joints including spinal discs from the wear-and-tear experienced during motion.

ISTO Technologies, Inc. is an orthobiologics company focusing on the development of differentiated products for sport medicine, spinal therapy and trauma. ISTO's products are intended for the repair and regeneration of damaged or injured cartilage and bone.

For additional information, visit ISTO Technologies' website at http://www.istotech.com or contact Scott Gill, Chief Financial Officer, by phone at (314) 995-6049.


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SOURCE ISTO Technologies, Inc.
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