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Kadimastem to Present Its Cell-Based Treatment for ALS at a Prestigious Conference in EuropeNov. 25, 2015
Ness Ziona, Israel, November 25, 2015, Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) was selected by the admissions committee to present two projects at a prestigious international conference in Europe. The conference will be held in Dresden, Germany, in February 2016, and it will focus on stem cell based models for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
The primary subject Kadimastem will present in the event will be its cell-based treatment for ALS, AstroRx, which has recently demonstrated success in its proof of concept animal model trial. The successful proof of concept test was the catalyst in the development of cell-based treatment for ALS and the submission of the Pre-IND package to the FDA.
AstroRx is a cell-based treatment, using astrocytes, for ALS, developed by the company. Currently, there is no effective treatment available for the disease. Kadimastem’s unique technology enables the manufacturing under GMP standards of cells that will be used to treat patients.
In its pre-clinical trials, the company found that injecting the cells into the spinal fluid enables them to disperse throughout the spinal cord, and it thus established this method of cell penetration in the future treatment of patients. The injecting of healthy and functioning astrocyte cells into the nervous system of patients may provide systemic support for the damaged motor neurons, thereby inhibiting disease progression and improving the patients’ quality of life and life expectancy.
Professor Michel Revel, the company’s Chief Scientist, noted: “We are very glad both our applications were accepted at the prestigious event, which highlights stem cell based solutions for severe neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS. This constitutes another proof of our scientific capability”.
Yossi Ben-Yossef, the company’s CEO, added: “The selection of Kadimastem to present at the conference was made by experts in the field, at a special admissions committee for the prestigious neurodegenerative diseases event. This is an important opportunity for us to present our research, particularly in the ALS field, to the global scientific community. This exposure has utmost importance in raising the awareness of the company’s unique solutions, as well as providing channels for future collaborations”.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is the most severe of a group of neurodegenerative diseases that damage motor neurons, and control most of the muscles in the body. The destruction of these neurons causes complete paralysis of the muscles they control. Currently, the disease is incurable and there is no significant drug treatment available. In recent years, there is growing evidence that in ALS patients, the ability of nervous system support cells (astrocytes) to maintain a supporting microenvironment for motor neurons is impaired.
Kadimastem is a biotechnology company, operating in the field of regenerative medicine – a groundbreaking field in which the malfunctioning of organs which leads to diseases is repaired by external cells, tissues or organs. The company specializes in the development of human stem cell-based medical solutions for the treatment of diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Multiple Sclerosis. The company was founded in August 2009 by Professor Michel Revel and Yossi Ben Yossef, and is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: KDST). Kadimastem employs 32 people, of which 11 are PhDs, and its 1,700m2 offices and labs are located in the Ness Ziona Science Park.
Kadimastem was founded based on patent protected technology that was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Prof. Michel Revel’s laboratory. Prof. Revel, who serves as the company's Chief Scientist and director, developed Merck KGaA's blockbuster drug, Rebif® for the treatment of MS (sales of around $2.4 billion sales in 2014).
Based on the company's unique platform, Kadimastem is developing two types of medical applications: A. Regenerative medicine, which repairs and replaces organs and tissue by using functioning cells differentiated from stem cells. The company focuses on transplanting healthy brain cells to support the survivability of nerve cells as cell therapy for ALS, and transplanting insulin-secreting pancreatic cells for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes; B. Drug screening platforms, which use functional human cells and tissues to discover new medicinal drugs. The company has two collaboration agreements with leading global pharmaceutical companies.
The company is headed by Yossi Ben-Yossef, an entrepreneur with extensive experience in life sciences companies. The company's chairman is Dr. Eli Opper, formerly the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Labor and Trade, and its investors include Altshuler Shaham Investment House, foreign investors (Julien Ruggieri and Avi Meizler), and the company's founders.
Kadimastem has an extensive scientific advisory board, featuring prominent scientists and pioneers: in the embryonic stem cells field, Professor Benjamin Reubinoff and Professor Joseph Itskovich, in the neurodegenerative disease field, Professor Tamir Ben-Hur, and in the diabetes field, Professor Shimon Efrat and Professor Eddy Karnieli.
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