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Kadimastem has received approval from the OCS for a budget of NIS 8.5m to promote cell therapy and the research into drugs for diabetes and neurodegenerative diseasesDec. 23, 2013
Kadimastem Receives a Vote of Confidence from the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS)
Kadimastem has received approval from the OCS for a budget of NIS 8.5m to promote cell therapy and the research into drugs for diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases
The global pharmaceutical giant Merck Serono has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Kadimastem to screen and develop drugs for neurological diseases
December 22, 2013 (Nes Ziona, Israel): Kadimastem (TASE:KDST), a developer of human pluripotent stem cell-based drug screening and therapeutic solutions, has received approval for a budget from the OCS for two development plans totaling NIS 8.5 million, for the development of cell therapy and drug screening solutions for diabetes, as well as for the development of drug screening solutions for neurodegenerative diseases. The grant will support and assist Kadimastem in advancing its regenerative medicine and drug screening platform for diabetes, and to continue the development and strengthening of drug screening platforms for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntingdon’s (HD), Multiple Sclerosis (MD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Following the approval, Kadimastem will receive a grant equal to 50% of its research & development costs. A budget of NIS 5.285 million was approved for regenerative medicine and drug screening solutions for diabetes, mostly to develop stem cell-derived insulin-secreting cells for implantation into diabetes patients. A budget of up to NIS 3.217 million was approved for the advancement of the company’s stem cell-based drug screening platform for neurodegenerative diseases, primarily for diseases caused by damage to the myelin sheath.
In addition, Kadimastem has recently reported signing a memorandum of understanding with Merck Serono focused on Kadimastem’s stem-cell based drug screening technologies. The two companies are leveraging Kadimastem’s stem-cell based drug screening technologies to identify compounds that cause cell differentiation and myelination (the process of enveloping axons in myelin). Such compounds could lead to the development of next generation drugs for MS, particularly at stages where currently available drugs which affect the immune system are no longer effective, and more advanced treatment is required. One of the main objectives the collaboration is the development of drug screening technologies based on stem cell-derived astrocytes for ALS (cells that support the nervous system and have shown to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders).
Yossi Ben Yossef, CEO of Kadimastem, said that “We are delighted with the approval of these two important development plans by the OCS. These funds will be help us further advance our stem cell capabilities, a field that is at the forefront of medicine, and in which Kadimastem and other Israeli companies have the status of global pioneers. We have been approved a budget to find and develop cell therapies for diabetes, and we believe that our technology is capable of providing the first solution of its kind for the treatment and cure of diabetes. We have also been approved a budget to find and develop drugs for diseases that affect the nervous system (neurodegenerative disorders). In this field there is a chronic lack of drugs that can slow down (and perhaps one day even prevent) the damage to the nervous system in conditions such as Huntingdon’s (HD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and terminal motor neuron disease (ALS). We recently signed a strategic memorandum of understanding with the global drugs giant Merck Serono, which is further evidence of the pharmaceutical industry’s need for a stem-cell based drug screening platform, and proof of Kadimastem’s leading technologies and high standard of scientific capabilities in this field.”
Kadimastem (TASE:KDST) develops human pluripotent stem cell-based drug screening and therapeutic solutions for diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The company’s platform technologies allow for in-house expansion of stem cells and their differentiation into a range of functional human cells including brain glia cells such as Oligodendrocytes and Astrocytes, as well as pancreatic insulin-producing Beta cells.
The company is pursuing two paths for commercialization: (1) In Drug Discovery by using its stem cell derived cells for efficiently screening for drug candidate in the fields of neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes respectively, and (2) In Cell Therapy by using its stem cell-derived beta cells to advance a cure for type 1 diabetes, and its glia cells to advance a cellular therapy cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). To find out more please visit Kadimastem’s website – www.kadimastem.com.
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