Kadimastem Selected to Participate in the EU's Prestigious R&D Program and will Receive a Grant of around NIS 3M
Aug. 27, 2015
The company will collaborate with leading European R&D and industry enterprises under the Horizon 2020 program.
Ness Ziona, Israel, August 27, 2015, Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) reports that it has been accepted by the European Commission as a participant in its prestigious research and development program, Horizon 2020, under which the company will receive a grant of around NIS 3M.
Kadimastem was chosen to participate in the program due to its extensive knowledge and experience in developing unique methods for the expansion and manufacturing of pluripotent stem cells for various applications. Under the program, the company will develop a large-scale 3D industrial manufacturing process to produce pluripotent stem cells, which are the source of a wide range of differentiated functional cells. The development of a large-scale 3D process represents a significant step in the development of Kadimastem’s cell-based therapy for diabetes, and it is particularly important for the company’s ability to produce batches sufficient for the treatment of large patient populations. Kadimastem will take part in the development of cell expansion methods in bioreactors, and will be responsible for the development of the manufacturing process according to cGMP standards and for creating protocols for the various stages of pluripotent stem cells production, as well as the cells differentiated from them.
The Horizon 2020 program is one of the most prestigious R&D programs in the world, and the biggest one for the funding of research and innovation in Europe. The program promotes the collaboration of academic entities and commercial-industrial enterprises in European countries, while utilizing knowledge of diverse origins to encourage innovation.
The program is operating between 2014 and 2020, with funds amounting to € 77 billion, and its average annual funding of projects exceeds € 10 billion.
Yossi Ben Yossef, Kadimastem’s CEO, noted: “We are proud of the recognition and great honor to be selected to the EU’s prestigious R&D program. This is a first achievement in the company’s strategy in the last few months, to apply for research grants in its fields of operation. The participation enables Kadimastem to receive a substantial amount to support its development, and it positions the company at the front of European research. Moreover, the participation exposes the company to joint collaborations with R&D and commercial entities across Europe and increases its technological exposure to the participants in the program”.
Professor Joseph Itskovich-Eldor, a pioneer in the pluripotent stem-cell research field, added: “The participation of Kadimastem in this prestigious program, in which both academic institutions and industrial companies are engaged, will significantly advance the company. Kadimastem joins an elite European group, the very few selected for the program, whose specific goal is to advance the pluripotent stem cell R&D and bring it to the patients’ bedside. The use of controlled 3D systems (bioreactors) is critical in the transition from research and development to industrial clinical applications in cell-based therapy”.
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.