StemCells, Inc.'s Spinal Cord Injury Trial Approved by Health Canada

StemCells, Inc.'s Spinal Cord Injury Trial Approved by Health Canada

Trial Open to Patients With Complete or Incomplete Injury

NEWARK, Calif., June 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM)
today announced that Health Canada has authorized the Company to expand its
Phase I/II clinical trial for chronic spinal cord injury into Canada. The
Phase I/II trial, currently underway in Zurich, Switzerland, is designed to
evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of the Company's proprietary
HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) as a treatment
for chronic spinal cord injury. With this authorization from Health Canada,
the Company is actively working to open one or more trial sites in Canada and
begin screening patients.

"This should be very welcome news for spinal cord injury patients in North
America," said Stephen Huhn, MD, FACS, FAAP, Vice President and Head of the
CNS Program at StemCells, Inc. "One of the patients in our trial is a Canadian
and he endured some challenging logistics to get to and from Switzerland.The
addition of sites located in North America will significantly ease the burden
on Canada- and US-based patients and their families who may wish to
participate in our trial.

"In addition, given the excellent safety profile and encouraging results seen
to date in the three patients with complete injury, we have amended the
clinical protocol to allow continued enrolment of patients with complete
injury in addition to patients with the less severe, or incomplete injury.We
are confident that the amended protocol combined with the addition of North
American trial sites will accelerate enrollment of patients with varying
degrees of spinal cord injury."

To date, four patients have been enrolled in the Company's Phase I/II trial
and transplanted with HuCNS-SC cells.The first three patients had all
suffered a complete injury to the thoracic (chest-level) spinal cord,
classified as AIS A according to the American Spinal Injury Association
Impairment Scale (AIS).In a complete injury, there is no neurological
function below the level of injury, and sensory function of all three patients
was stable before transplantation of the HuCNS-SC cells.The first three
patients completed the trial in December 2012 and data from these patients
showed multi-segment gains in sensory function in two patients twelve months
post-transplantation of the HuCNS-SC cells. One of these two patients
converted from a complete injury classification to an incomplete injury, while
the third patient remained stable. Unlike the first three patients, the fourth
patient in the study had suffered an incomplete injury, classified as AIS B,
because of preserved sensory function below the level of injury.

About the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Trial

The Phase I/II clinical trial of the Company's HuCNS-SC cells is designed to
assess both safety and preliminary efficacy.The Company anticipates twelve
patients with thoracic (chest-level) neurological injuries at the T2-T11 level
will be enrolled.The trial is open to patients in Europe and North America
with a complete or incomplete injury classified according to the American
Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale.In a complete injury, there is no
neurological function below the level of injury, while in an incomplete
injury, there is some preservation of function below the level of injury.

All patients who enroll will receive HuCNS-SC cells through direct
transplantation into the spinal cord and will be temporarily
immunosuppressed.Patients will be evaluated regularly in the post-transplant
period in order to monitor and assess the safety of the HuCNS-SC cells, the
surgery and the immunosuppression, as well as to measure any change in
neurological function below the injury site.Preliminary efficacy will be
evaluated based on defined clinical endpoints, such as changes in sensation,
motor function and bowel/bladder function.The Company intends to follow the
effects of this therapy long-term, and each of the patients will be invited to
enroll into a separate four-year observational study after completing the
Phase I/II study.

The trial is currently being conducted at Balgrist University Hospital,
University of Zurich, a world-leading medical center for spinal cord injury
and rehabilitation.If you believe you may qualify and are interested in
participating in the study, please contact the study nurse either by phone at
+41 44 386 39 01 or by email at Company is
working to open trial sites in Canada.

Information about the clinical trial is available at the
website of the National Institutes of Health at
Additional information about the Company's spinal cord injury program can be
found on the StemCells, Inc. website at and at

About StemCells, Inc.

StemCells, Inc. is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization
of cell-based therapeutics and tools for use in stem cell-based research and
drug discovery. The Company's lead therapeutic product candidate, HuCNS-SC®
cells (purified human neural stem cells), is currently in development as a
potential treatment for a broad range of central nervous system disorders. In
a PhaseI clinical trial in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a fatal
myelination disorder in children, the Company has shown preliminary evidence
of progressive and durable donor-derived myelination in all four patients
transplanted with HuCNS-SC cells.The Company is also conducting a Phase I/II
clinical trial in chronic spinal cord injury in Switzerland and has reported
positive interim data for the first three patients.The Company has also
initiated a Phase I/II clinical trial in dry age-related macular degeneration
(AMD), and is pursuing preclinical studies in Alzheimer's disease.StemCells
also markets stem cell research products, including media and reagents, under
the SC Proven® brand.Further information about StemCells is available at

Apart from statements of historical fact, the text of this press release
constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
and is subject to the safe harbors created therein.These statements include,
but are not limited to, statements regarding whether the improvements in
sensory function seen in the Company's Phase I/II clinical study of spinal
cord injury will persist and whether they will prove to be clinically
meaningful; continued authorization to conduct a clinical trial in Switzerland
and Canada in chronic spinal cord injury; the timing and prospect of securing
clinical trial sites in Canada to conduct the Company's Phase I/II trial in
spinal cord injury; the prospect for screening and then enrolling additional
patients with incomplete spinal cord injury; the prospect for evaluating trial
patients for changes in their sensation, motor function and bowel/bladder
function; the potential of the Company's HuCNS-SC cells to treat spinal cord
injury and other central nervous system disorders; and the future business
operations of the Company. These forward-looking statements speak only as of
the date of this news release. The Company does not undertake to update any of
these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur
after the date hereof. Such statements reflect management's current views and
are based on certain assumptions that may or may not ultimately prove valid.
The Company's actual results may vary materially from those contemplated in
such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties to which the
Company is subject, including the fact that additional trials will be required
to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the Company's HuCNS-SC cells for the
treatment of any disease or disorder; uncertainty as to whether the FDA,
Health Canada or other applicable regulatory agencies will permit the Company
to continue clinical testing in spinal cord injury or in future clinical
trials of proposed therapies for other diseases or conditions; uncertainties
regarding the ability of preclinical research, including research in animal
models, to accurately predict success or failure in clinical trials;
uncertainties regarding the Company's ability to recruit the patients required
to conduct its clinical trials or to obtain meaningful results; uncertainties
regarding the Company's ability to obtain the increased capital resources
needed to continue its current and planned research and development
operations; uncertainty as to whether HuCNS-SC cells and any products that may
be generated in the future in the Company's cell-based programs will prove
safe and clinically effective and not cause tumors or other adverse side
effects; uncertainties regarding the Company's ability to commercialize a
therapeutic product and its ability to successfully compete with other
products on the market; and other factors that are described under the heading
"Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2012, and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

CONTACT: Rodney Young
         StemCells, Inc.
         Chief Financial Officer
         (510) 456-4128
         Ian Stone
         Russo Partners
         (619) 308-6541

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