International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO)
International Stem Cell Corp. specializes in the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. The company was first to perfect the natural phenomenon of parthenogenesis, which utilizes unfertilized human eggs to create hpSCs. These stem cells, created in a particular form called HLA homozygous, can be immune-matched to millions of people regardless of sex or racial background, with minimal expectation of immune rejection after transplantation.
hpSCs are as pluripotent as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and have significant therapeutic potential but their creation does not involve the destruction of a viable human embryo – thus sidestepping the controversy and ethical dilemmas associated with the use of human embryonic stem cells. Different from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSs), hpSCs do not involve manipulation of gene expression back to a less differentiated stage – a practice that may become a safety or regulatory obstacle in clinical applications.
A relatively small number of hpSC lines can offer the potential of producing the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell, which ISCO intends to create as a means of serving populations across the globe. The company's scientists are currently focused on using hpSC to treat severe diseases of the eye, nervous system, and liver, for which cell therapy has been clinically proven but is limited due to the unavailability of safe human cells.
In addition to its therapeutic focus, ISCO also provides two revenue streams. Firstly through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, specialized cells and growth media for biological research around the world, and secondly its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care, the company manufactures and sells anti-aging skincare products utilizing an extract from the hpSC and by leveraging the latest discoveries in the fields of stem cell biology, nanotechnology, and skin cream formulation technology.
Loans4Less.com, Inc. (LFLS)
Loans4Less.com, Inc. is an online mortgage broker which matches qualified individuals seeking mortgage loans with suitable lenders who offer the company a competitive wholesale lending program. Maintaining an A+ TrustLink rating with the Better Business Bureau, the company provides competitive rates, terms, costs, daily updates, extensive market information, and trusted first-class service to the public.
Leveraging its portfolio of 62 different web domains, Loans4Less.com is focused on developing a national consumer platform for conforming residential mortgage programs and implementation of other consumer loan programs via operating providers. The company's expansion strategy includes rapidly growing revenues through strategic and cost-effective advertising, licensing, and/or third party agreements that build national recognition of the Loans4Less® brand.
The management team has accumulated many years of experience in the real estate and financial services sectors. This combination of expertise provides the knowledge and foresight necessary to get the best results for the company and their thousands of loyal clients. The team skillfully navigated through the credit crisis that destroyed much of their competition, putting the company in a stronger position to increase market share.
Loans4Less.com is not exposed to the risks and/or problems that are associated with sub-prime lending. Having never defaulted on an obligation or been involved in any litigation, the company is poised for rapid growth in today's low interest rate environment with its industry leading reputation and well established relationships with respected lenders.
Skinny Nutritional Corp. (SKNY)
Skinny Nutritional Corp. has established their Skinny Water® brand as a clear alternative to other products in the enhanced water space, with the only true zero calorie, sugar, carb, sodium, and preservative-containing beverage available. Skinny Water's proprietary formulation of essential antioxidant agents, electrolytes, and the critical vitamins our bodies need in order to achieve optimal function, uses 100% natural flavors, no preservatives, no artificial colors, and only the best purified water.
The company has constructed a network of approximately 50 domestic distributors (with three more internationally), placing product on shelves approximately 15k stores across the United States. Derived from the natural flavors contained in fruits, Skinny Water represents a fortified, extremely low-impact, great-tasting array of beverages that provide a concentrated punch of the nutrients essential for a healthier lifestyle.
The company's strong emphasis on health, fitness, and community has served marketing initiatives very well. The new age beverage segment has seen increasing momentum in recent years, with just about every beverage company getting into the game, but none of them has the kind of no-nonsense product composition behind Skinny Water, something that appeals directly to the majority of the core consumer market.
Skinny Nutritional continues to build value around the Skinny Water brand, and today has numerous trademarks in the healthy beverage and snack food categories. As consumers migrate away from sugar based beverages and empty calories, Skinny Water is ideally positioned to benefit from positive market trends as management focuses on delivering exceptional value to shareholders.