NESS ZIONA, Israel, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announces a yearly budget approved by the Innovation Authority in the total amount of NIS 12 M, to accelerate the development of the company's product based on pluripotent stem cells, for the treatment of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and reaching the start of clinical trials in Israel, planned towards the end of the year. This is an increase of more than NIS 4 M over the previous year's ALS budget. The participation of the Innovation Authority will be at a rate of around 38% of the budget.
The Company plans to begin its first trial on ALS patients towards the end of 2017, under the supervision of the Israeli Ministry of Health, following completion of the necessary preparations under the outline coordinated with the FDA. The trial will be conducted in the Department of Neurology of the Hadassah Ein-Kerem Medical Center in Ein Kerem, a world-leading center in the field of ALS. The clinical trial will enable the company to prove its innovative treatment in ALS patients.
Yossi Ben-Yossef, the company's CEO, noted: "With the final preparations for the company's clinical trial in ALS patients, we are very pleased with the significant support by the Innovation Authority for the company. The budget which was approved will help us meet our goals and move forward with the initiation of the clinical trial. The budget that was approved for the ALS program for 2017 is the largest budget the company has received for the program to date, indicating confidence in Kadimastem and in the program for the treatment of ALS."
Professor Michel Revel, the company's Chief Scientist, noted that the strong support from the Innovation Authority is a confirmation of the scientific quality of the treatment for ALS that the company is developing.
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 35 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.