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Stemcells, Inc. Announces First High-Dose Patient Transplanted in Phase I/II Clinical Trial in Dry Age-Related Macular

Stemcells, Inc. Announces First High-Dose Patient Transplanted in Phase I/II
Clinical Trial in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

FDA Authorizes Expansion to Five Trial Sites in the United States

NEWARK, Calif., Sept. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc.
(Nasdaq:STEM) today announced dosing of the first high-dose patient in the
Company's Phase I/II clinical trial in dry age-related macular degeneration
(AMD).The patient, the fifth overall in the 16-patient trial, was
transplanted yesterday with one million HuCNS-SC® cells (purified human neural
stem cells).The first four patients each received a dose of 200,000 cells.An
independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee conducted a review of the trial
data to date, and found no safety issues to preclude the trial from proceeding
to the high dose.

"Advancing to the high dose, which is a five-fold increase from the low dose,
is an important milestone in this trial," said Stephen Huhn, MD, FACS, FAAP,
Vice President, CNS Clinical Research at StemCells."Testing a cell dose of
this magnitude in all the remaining patients planned for the trial will
enhance our ability to assess the effect of the cells on visual acuity.

"Also, we are pleased to announce that we have received permission from the
FDA to open three more U.S. trial sites in addition to the Retina Foundation
of the Southwest and the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, the two currently
active centers.Expanding the number of sites will provide easier access to
the trial for patients and help us achieve our goal of completing enrollment
within the next nine months."

AMD afflicts approximately 30 million people worldwide and is the leading
cause of vision loss in people over 55 years of age.Approximately 90 percent
of AMD patients have the dry form of the disease, for which there are no
approved treatments.

About the Clinical Trial

The Phase I/II trial is designed to evaluate the safety and preliminary
efficacy of HuCNS-SC cells as a treatment for dry AMD.The trial is an
open-label, dose-escalation study, and is expected to enroll a total of 16
patients.The HuCNS-SC cells will be administered by a single injection into
the space beneath the retina in the most affected eye.Using both conventional
and advanced state-of-the-art methods of ophthalmological assessment, patients
will be evaluated at predetermined intervals over a one-year period to assess
safety and signs of visual benefit.Patients will then be followed for an
additional four years in a separate observational study.

The trial is currently enrolling at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford in
Palo Alto, California, and at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest in
Dallas, Texas.Patients interested in participating in the clinical trial
should contact the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford at (650) 498-4486 or the
Retina Foundation of the Southwest at (214) 363-3911.

A summary of the Company's preclinical data underlying the trial was featured
in February 2012 in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Neuroscience
(http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07970.x/abstract).The
data demonstrated that HuCNS-SC cells protect host photoreceptors and preserve
vision in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat, a well-established animal
model of retinal disease that has been used extensively to evaluate potential
cellular therapies. Transplantation of HuCNS-SC cells into RCS rats
significantly protected photoreceptors from degeneration.Moreover, the number
of cone photoreceptors, which are responsible for central vision, remained
constant over an extended period, consistent with the sustained visual acuity
and light sensitivity observed in the study. In humans, degeneration of the
cone photoreceptors accounts for the unique pattern of vision loss in dry
AMD.

About HuCNS-SC Cells

StemCells' lead product candidate, HuCNS-SC cells, is a highly purified
composition of human neural stem cells that are expanded and stored as banks
of cells. The Company's preclinical research has shown that HuCNS-SC cells can
be directly transplanted in the central nervous system (CNS) with no sign of
tumor formation or adverse effects.Because the transplanted HuCNS-SC cells
have been shown to engraft and survive long-term, this suggests the
possibility of a durable clinical effect following a single
transplantation.StemCells believes that HuCNS-SC cells may have broad
therapeutic application for many diseases and disorders of the CNS, and to
date has demonstrated human safety data from completed and ongoing clinical
studies.

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 conducting a Phase I/II
clinical trial in chronic spinal cord injury in Switzerland and Canada and has
reported positive interim data for the first three patients. The Company is
also conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial in dry age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) at two sites in the United States. In addition, the Company
is pursuing preclinical studies in Alzheimer's disease, with support from the
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). StemCells also markets
stem cell research products, including media and reagents, under the SC
Proven® brand. Further information about StemCells is available at
http://www.stemcellsinc.com.

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 the prospect of the Company's
HuCNS-SC cells to preserve vision; the prospect and timing of patient
enrollment in the Company's clinical trial in dry AMD; 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 or
other applicable regulatory agencies or review boards will permit the Company
to continue clinical testing in AMD; uncertainties regarding the timing and
duration of any 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; 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 Forms
10-Q and 8-K.

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

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