Ness Ziona, Israel, 22 April 2018, Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announced today the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French medical device developer Defymed, to evaluate the integration of the companies' technologies for the treatment of diabetes.
In parallel with the development of cell-based therapy for the treatment of ALS, in which Kadimastem is currently commencing its first clinical trial in humans, it is also developing an innovative cell-based therapy for diabetes, by producing islet-of-Langerhans-like cells capable of producing and releasing insulin according to blood sugar levels. Defymed is an SME that develops implantable medical devices for diverse therapeutic applications. In the diabetes field, Defymed had developed MailPan®, a Bio-Artificial Pancreas device designed, using suitable cells, to treat diabetes in patients without immunosuppression.
The collaboration with Defymed is consistent with the company's strategy of evaluating and promoting collaborations in the encapsulation field, in order to select a partner with technological capabilities suitable for application in the company's cell-based product for diabetes treatment. The collaboration will enable Kadimastem to evaluate Defymed's encapsulation solution for the insulin-secreting cells, which are the basis of the company's cell-based therapy in the diabetes field.
The companies intend to conduct a proof of concept pre-clinical test using Defymed's MailPan® and Kadimastem's islet-of-Langerhans-like cell clusters and evaluate the efficacy of the combination in treating diabetes.
Yossi Ben-Yossef, Kadimastem's CEO, noted: "We are constantly operating to locate and identify innovative technologies to integrate in the company's product for the treatment of diabetes and to complement it. Preliminary evaluations by our research team found Defymed to potentially have a complementary solution for the cell-based product we are developing for diabetes treatment. Should the collaboration result in a proof of concept and a positive outcome, the company's product for diabetes treatment may constitute a turning point in currently available therapies and offer patients a fitting alternative, capable of significantly improving the quality of life for millions of diabetes patients worldwide."
Séverine Sigrist, Defymed’s CEO and CSO, said: "Since Defymed’s foundation, we always favored open innovation for the development of our medical devices. Moreover, Defymed’s strategy is to position MailPan® as a platform to test several types of insulin-secreting cells in order to go further with the best combination. As Kadimastem’s cells are very promising, we are looking forward to the first results of our partnership."
Kadimastem (www.kadimastem.com) is a biotechnology company that develops industrial regenerative medicine therapies based on differentiated cells derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) to treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as ALS, as well as diabetes. The company was founded in August 2009 by Professor Michel Revel and Yossi Ben Yosef, and is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: KDST). The company's chairman is Dr. Eli Opper, formerly the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Labor and Trade. The company's investors, in addition to the founders, include Altshuler Shaham Investment House, foreign investors (Julien Ruggieri and Avi Meizler), and additional institutional investors.
Kadimastem was founded based on patent protected technology that was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. 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.
Kadimastem has an extensive scientific advisory board, featuring prominent scientists and pioneers: in the embryonic stem cells field, Professor Benjamin Reubinoff, Director of the Hadassah Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center and Senior Physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hadassah University Medical Center; Professor Joseph Itskovich, world renowned expert and pioneer in pluripotent stem cell research and former head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at RAMBAM Medical Center; in the neurodegenerative disease field, Professor Tamir Ben-Hur, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Medical Center; and in the diabetes field, Professor Shimon Efrat, professor of Human Molecular Genetics and Juvenile Diabetes at Tel Aviv University and a world renowned expert in cell replacement therapy for diabetes and Professor Eddy Karnieli, former Director of the Institute for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the RAMBAM Medical Center, and a world renowned expert in these fields.