HONG KONG and HOUSTON, Sept. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Golden Meditech Holdings Limited (SEHK stock code: 00801, TWSE stock code: 910801) ("Golden Meditech" or the "Company"), a Hong Kong-based integrated healthcare enterprise, and The University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center ("MD Anderson") have announced the creation of Cellenkos, Inc. ("Cellenkos"), a start-up enterprise focused on umbilical cord blood derived T-regulatory ("T-reg") cellular therapies.
Cellenkos, to be based in Houston, is funded with an initial investment of US$10 million (approximately HK$77.5 million) with warrants to purchase an additional US$10 million (approximately HK$77.5 million) worth of shares by Golden Meditech and an independent strategic investor.
The agreement covers technologies arising from the laboratory investigations of Simrit Parmar, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at MD Anderson. Cellenkos will build on Dr. Parmar's existing and potential future pre-clinical and clinical research to develop various T-reg-based therapies for clinical use in treating autoimmune diseases where the patient's T-reg cells are often defective and/or lower in number. These chronic and morbid diseases require long-term treatment with drugs that suppress the immune system that often have adverse side effects. Adoptive therapy with cord blood derived T-reg cells has the potential to replenish the immune system and impact patient care by providing novel, non-pharmacologic options.
"This pairing of the therapeutic potential of cord-blood derived T-regs and the cord blood banks owned and managed by Golden Meditech is good news for our patients," said Parmar. "Cord blood T-reg technology has the potential to transform unused cord blood units into therapeutic assets. A major advantage of using cord blood T-regs compared with peripheral blood T-regs is their stability and superior suppressive effect. In addition, the cord blood units are immediately available, off-the-shelf."
Golden Meditech and the strategic investor will collectively own 51% of the voting stock of the new company following the exercise of the warrants. The investment includes options to expand the T-reg technologies of Cellenkos into key Asian markets. At present, Golden Meditech's cord blood storage facilities have surpassed half a million subscriber base in the first half of 2016. This large pool of data is essential for the research treatments that may help thousands of families since stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases.
"We have been very impressed with the cord blood T-reg technologies," said Mr. Kam Yuen, founder and chairman of Golden Meditech. "Potential medical benefits available through utilization of umbilical cord stem cells will increasingly serve to save lives and enhance the quality of life. We believe the collaboration with MD Anderson will further advance the real-life applications of cord blood stem cells."
Further details of the transaction will be published by the Golden Meditech in accordance with the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and posted on the Company's website as follow:
About Golden Meditech Holdings Limited (SEHK stock code: 00801, TWSE stock code: 910801)
Golden Meditech (www.goldenmeditech.com) is an integrated-healthcare enterprise in China. It is a first-mover in China, having established its dominant positions in several markets including the medical devices market, the hospital management market and the cord blood storage market in the healthcare industry, thanks to its strengths in innovation and market expertise and the ability to capture emerging market opportunities. Going forward, Golden Meditech will pursue a leading position in China's healthcare industry both through organic growth and strategic expansion.
About MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For the past 25 years, MD Anderson has ranked as one of the nation's top two cancer centers in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" survey. It receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
SOURCE Golden Meditech Holdings Limited