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Oceanside’s International Stem Cells Corp., which has been strapped for cash, said in a release this morning that it has made a deal to get $3 million from an investor.

The company, known as ISCO, has sidestepped much of the controversy that surrounds stem cell research. It has produced an alternative to natural embryonic stem cells through the production of stem cells that act like embryonic ones but are derived from unfertilized, rather than fertilized, human egg cells which can’t become a complete human.

The $3 million will go toward pre-clinical trials using stem cells to make regenerative medicine therapies to treat retinal and liver disease and diabetes, advance the construction of therapeutic cell manufacturing facilities and support the company’s ongoing operations, according to the release.

Like most biotechnology firms, ISCO has promising science, but has been struggling to get financing. The windfall cash should allow the company to move its research toward clinical trials, but when those lengthy and pricey trials do begin, ISCO will likely need a lot more funding.

DARRYN BENNETT

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