NESS ZIONA, Israel, May 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announces a yearly budget approved by the OCS in the total amount of NIS 13.7 M, which is an increase of more than NIS 2M over the previous year. The funding is intended to accelerate the company's two primary fields of activity which are based on pluripotent stem cells, ALS and diabetes, including the advancement towards the company's clinical trial in ALS patients.
Yossi Ben-Yossef, the company's CEO, noted: "I am very happy that Kadimastem has received significant support from the OCS for several years. We believe that the budget approved by the OCS, together with the capital we have recently raised, will enable us to achieve the goals we have set, to advance towards clinical trials and to continue to show positive results in both of the company's programs. The budget approved for Kadimastem for 2016 is the largest budget the company has received yet, which indicates the Chief Scientist's vote of confidence in Kadimastem."
Professor Michel Revel, the company's Chief Scientist, noted: "Kadimastem is gaining momentum towards the clinical trial in ALS patients, and the significant support provided by the Office of Chief Scientist will enable the company to achieve this target as planned, and at the same time to advance the diabetes cell therapy project, which is in advanced development stages. We are happy for the confidence shown in pluripotent stem cell technology in general and the products developed by Kadimastem in particular."
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 34 people, of which 12 are PhDs, and its 1,700m 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. 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 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 and 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, past Director of the Institute for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Rambam Medical Center, and a world renowned expert in these fields.