November 01, 2012 at 07:30 AM EDT
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, NeoStem, The Stem for Life Foundation & STOQ International Announce 'The Second International Adult Stem Cell Conference: Regenerative Medicine -- A Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture'
Meredith Vieira, Bill Hemmer and Peggy Noonan to Moderate Landmark Event to be Held Within The Vatican to Raise Global Awareness of the Ability of Adult Stem Cells to Regenerate Damaged Tissue and Heal Our Own Bodies

NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Stem for Life Foundation, NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NBS), The Pontifical Council for Culture, and STOQ International today announced that they will host The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference: Regenerative Medicine — A Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture, from within The Vatican, April 11-13, 2013.

This event is part of a five-year collaboration between The Stem for Life Foundation, a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising global awareness of the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells, NeoStem, an emerging leader in the fast growing cell therapy industry, The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and its foundation, called STOQ International (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

With renowned journalists serving as moderators — Meredith Vieira from NBC News, Bill Hemmer from The Fox News Channel, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal and Dr. Max Gomez from WCBS-TV — The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference will feature leading adult stem cell scientists and clinicians, thought leaders of faith, ethics and culture, business leaders as well as Ministers of Health, Ambassadors to The Holy See and regulatory officials from around the world. During the event, adult stem cell scientists and clinicians will present an array of medical advancements and ongoing research occurring throughout the world, including the ability to grow replacements for damaged and diseased organs; restoring heart function after heart attack; growing new skin for burn victims; rebalancing our own immune systems, pushing back a rising tide of chronic disease; advancements in cancer therapy; preventing organ rejection and addressing a range of other conditions and trauma, such as MS, traumatic brain injuries and cardiovascular disease via adult stem cell therapies. Throughout the event, patients will share their own stories of the unique, powerful treatments that have helped address their disease and reduce suffering.

"Regenerative medicine is poised to revolutionize disease management by finding new ways to boost the body's ability to heal itself. Whereas today treatment for many diseases is a matter of managing symptoms, regenerative medicine seeks to reverse the course of the disease by targeting its cause and repairing diseased or defective tissues or organs," said Dr. Robin Smith, President of The Stem for Life Foundation. "Not only will our conference educate people of all ages, religions and cultures on the potential of adult stem cells to treat chronic disease as part of this next great frontier, but we will generate a truly international dialogue on regenerative medicine, one that explores the interconnections between scientific breakthroughs, faith, culture and ethics."

The goals of the 2013 Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference are to:

  • Foster an open dialogue amongst researchers, physicians, philanthropists, faith leaders and policy-makers in order to help identify clear, unmet medical needs throughout the world that can be addressed through the development of cellular therapies that will reduce human suffering.
  • Expand global awareness of the here-and-now opportunities of adult stem cell therapies, reducing misperceptions surrounding the field of cellular research.
  • Lay the groundwork for a collaborative network of scientists, educators and patrons who embrace the promise of adult stem cells, creating an array of subsequent educational events at leading universities and institutions throughout the world, inspiring the next generation of cellular researchers.

"The developments within regenerative medicine are of great interest," said Msgr. Tomasz Trafny. "They show how science changes, causing paradigm shifts through interdisciplinary research. Cellular biology is a good example of such changes. These dynamics also cause deep cultural transformations on different levels, from health care to economy, from new technologies to legal issues. Thus, topics that apparently seem to be circumscribed only to strictly scientific discussions or theoretical ones, in fact modify our understanding of social dynamics, relationships and, in the ultimate analysis, our understanding of the human being. Today we acknowledge that insights from natural sciences play a crucial role in our society, having consequences for anthropology, philosophy and even theology. It is our mission and our duty to explore the above dynamics, to offer the best tools for pastoral care, and to encourage understanding of changing culture."

In June, The Pontifical Council for Culture and The Stem for Life Foundation presented the first copy of their forthcoming book, The Healing Cell: How The Greatest Revolution in Medical History is Changing Your Life, to The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The book is the result of a unique collaboration between the two organizations, and will be available in 2013. It includes a special address by His Holiness Benedict XVI, urging increased support and awareness for advancements in adult stem cell research in order to alleviate human suffering. To reserve a copy of the book, go to:http://www.stemforlife.org/healingcell

To learn more about The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference please visit www.adultstemcellconference.org.

About The Pontifical Council for Culture

The Pontifical Council for Culture is that Dicastery of the Roman Curia which assists the Pope in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the benefit and service of the universal Church and of particular Churches concerning the encounter between the saving message of the Gospel and cultures, in the study of the weighty phenomena of the rift between the Gospel and cultures; indifference in matters of religion; unbelief. It is also concerned with relationships between the Church and the Holy See and the world of culture; in particular it promotes dialogue with contemporary cultures, so that human civilization may become increasingly open to the Gospel, and so that men and women of science, letters and the arts may know that the Church acknowledges their work as a service to truth, goodness and beauty. www.cultura.va

About STOQ International

STOQ International is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization operating in the U.S. for the purpose of creating important dialogue between the Church and contemporary culture, which is strongly shaped by scientific advancements.

Its aim is to change the debate in the arena of ideas related to Theology, Philosophy and present-day Science, through supporting and encouraging scientific research, educational programs and cultural initiatives. The alliance of experts from the disciplines of science, theology and philosophy that form the STOQ Project provokes a renewal of thinking about God and man, creation and providence. STOQ International wants thus to challenge the public perception of the relationship between the Church tradition and science, and we prove the compatibility of faith and reason in the pursuit of knowledge.

The purpose of STOQ is to endorse and conduct an interdisciplinary dialogue in order to build a culture that promotes the full dignity of humanity. The main mission of STOQ is to build a bridge between science and theology, providing for their positive impact on contemporary society, as well as to support studies through joint research projects, conferences and educational & cultural enterprises.

To know more about STOQ, please visit: www.stoqinternational.org

About The Stem for Life Foundation

The Stem for Life Foundation (SFLF) is dedicated to improving the quality of life of millions of people suffering from dozens of painful and sometimes debilitating medical conditions by providing information and updates about adult stem cell research, therapy development and possible healthcare applications. SFLF focuses on educating the public, convening the best minds in adult stem cell medicine and research, supporting clinical research, and subsidizing adult stem cell collection and storage for those who need it most.

Understanding that adult stem cell research could lead to better treatments and possibly cures for chronic disease, as well as reduce health care costs and improve quality of life for those with chronic disease and disability, SFLF was established in 2007. SFLF's Board of Trustees and staff are deeply committed to expediting development of stem cell therapies that offer real hope to individuals suffering from a wide-range of life-threatening medical conditions.

For more information on the Stem for Life Foundation, please visit http://www.stemforlife.org

About NeoStem, Inc.

NeoStem, Inc. is emerging as a technology and market leader in the fast developing cell therapy industry. Its multifaceted business strategy combines a state-of-the-art contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with a medically important cell therapy product development program, enabling near and long-term revenue growth opportunities. Supported by an experienced scientific and business management team and a dynamic patent and patent pending portfolio, NeoStem is well positioned to succeed.

For more information on NeoStem, please visit http://www.neostem.com

Forward-Looking Statements for NeoStem, Inc.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements herein with respect to the successful execution of the Company's business strategy, including with respect to the Company's successful development of AMR-001 and other cell therapeutics, the size of the market for such products, its competitive position in such markets, the Company's ability to successfully penetrate such markets and the market for its CDMO business, and the efficacy of protection from its patent portfolio, as well as the future of the cell therapeutics industry in general, including the rate at which such industry may grow. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward- looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those matters described under the "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 20, 2012 and in the Company's other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are available on its website. The Company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. The Company's further development is highly dependent on future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside its control.

CONTACT: The Stem for Life Foundation
         420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 350
         New York, NY 10170
         Todd Aydelotte (212) 584-4186
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