NeoStem Introduces True Life Insurance; New Elective Insurance Option Leverages Adult Stem Cell Therapy, Offers New Paradigm to Independent Agents
Business Wire - July 22, 2003 09:06
AGOURA HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 22, 2003--NeoStem (www.neostem.com), a new company committed to pioneering adult stem cell therapeutics, today introduced a new product branded as "True Life Insurance"(TM) for independent insurance agents. This new form of elective insurance enables individuals to pay for the collection, processing and storage of their own healthy stem cells for their future health care needs.

Life insurance, whether universal, term or whole-life coverage, is in its current form a misnomer. In fact, it's really death insurance, with policies designed to protect surviving spouses and dependents. But breathtaking advances in medical science are now paving the way for "true" life insurance that can be used to save and prolong the lives of policyholders.

As adult stem cell insurance, True Life Insurance offers better value than supplemental cancer insurance or special health-event insurance because storing one's own stem cells improves the chance of successfully treating a serious illness as well as extending life. With the introduction of True Life Insurance, NeoStem is inviting interested independent insurance agents to participate in an ongoing dialogue on the evolution of the product, by emailing busdev@neostem.com.

As with traditional life insurance, policyholders would pay a premium -- in this case, a charge for the collection, and an annual storage fee. Autologous adult stem-cell transplantation (transplanting one's own cells) has overwhelming clinical and economic advantages over allogeneic transplantation, which involves cells donated by other people and is susceptible to life-threatening rejection. Using one's own stem cells for transplantation typically is less than 10 percent of the total cost of using another donor's cells.

"True Life Insurance is a dramatic sign of the times," said Denis Rodgerson, Ph.D, NeoStem CEO. "We are seeing the beginning of a paradigm shift away from the controversial procedure of stem cell research using embryos, which has become an emotional issue, to using one's own stem cells for therapeutic purposes. Indeed, given the rate of new stem-cell therapeutic treatments that researchers have developed, adult stem cell storage could become a common elective health insurance option within the next few years."

Adult stem cells are different from embryonic stem cells, which have been the source of so much controversy. Obtaining these stem cells does not involve embryos or fetuses and, more importantly, adult stem cell transplantation is an established medical procedure for many diseases, without ethical or religious taint. Far from being limited, the supply of adult stem cells that can prolong life is more than adequate to meet the need.

Emerging therapies involving autologous adult stem cells are expected to grow rapidly as regenerative medicine revolutionizes treatment options in the 21st Century. According to the National Institutes of Health, the therapeutic use of stem cells will become a cornerstone of medicine within the next two decades.

Currently, a 300-person clinical trial in Europe is seeking to establish that transplanting one's own adult stem cells can repair heart muscle damage following a heart attack and thereby become a standard of care. This full-scale trial appears to signify a change in using adult stem cells for treatment of "mainstream" -- rather than esoteric -- diseases.

"NeoStem promises to be a historic company, as the first to enable individuals to store their own stem cells, pre-disease, for potential use against such life-threatening conditions heart disease, cancer and multiple sclerosis," Rodgerson said. "As medical science advances and new treatments emerge, the opportunity to use one's own stem cells to repair the damage truly is a new form of life insurance."

About NeoStem

Based in Agoura Hills, Calif., NeoStem Inc. (www.neostem.com) is pioneering the pre-disease collection, processing and storage of adult stem cells for future medical treatments. NeoStem is engaged in autologous stem cell collection for therapy, which does not involve embryonic or fetal stem cells in any way. NeoStem was founded by former executives and founders of StemCyte, Inc., the world's second largest umbilical cord stem cell bank. In addition to other proprietary intellectual properties in the field of stem cell therapeutics, cellular biology and laboratory medicine, the company has developed and filed numerous patents on the processing techniques and therapeutic applications of adult stem cells for future healthcare needs.


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