SAN DIEGO and NEWARK, Delaware, Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company, and W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. ("Gore"), a leading global materials science company with expertise in medical device development and drug delivery technologies, today announced a $10 million investment by Gore into ViaCyte in the form of a convertible promissory note. This new investment by Gore into ViaCyte follows a similar multimillion-dollar investment by Gore in May 2017.
In March 2017, Gore and ViaCyte announced a collaboration to combine Gore's material science and implantable medical device expertise and ViaCyte's pre-clinical and clinical experience with human cell replacement therapies to develop leading cell encapsulation technologies. The combined effort is first being applied to the PEC-Encap™ (also known as VC-01) product candidate that is being developed as a functional cure for patients with type 1 diabetes.
"The collaboration with Gore has been exceptionally productive. Gore's expertise and unique ability to manipulate the materials and engineer novel membranes has proven invaluable for improving the performance of the PEC-Encap product candidate in non-clinical studies that have been shown to be reflective of the human experience," said Paul Laikind, PhD, ViaCyte's President and CEO. "We are grateful to Gore for providing this substantial additional financial support and are excited to complete the necessary work that should allow us to resume clinical testing of PEC-Encap as early as the first half of 2019."
"At Gore, we have been delighted to partner with ViaCyte in a dynamic and focused ongoing effort to overcome device limitations and enable success of the PEC-Encap product candidate," said Erin Hutchinson, Business Leader, Gore PharmBIO Products. "The combination of our decades of implantable device and materials experience, with ViaCyte's regenerative medicine and cell therapy expertise, makes for a formidable team. Together we have an opportunity to deliver a potentially curative product for those currently suffering with type 1 diabetes and help pioneer the new field of cell replacement therapy."
Since the collaboration started early last year, ViaCyte and Gore have made significant progress in improving engraftment and function of the PEC-Encap product candidate in non-clinical models that, based on clinical experience, have been selected to reflect the biological response in patients. Some of the positive data were presented at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) 78th Scientific Sessions in June this year.
W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Founded in 1958, Gore has built a reputation for solving complex technical challenges in the most demanding environments — from revolutionizing the outerwear industry with GORE-TEX® fabric to creating medical devices that improve and save lives to enabling new levels of performance in the aerospace, pharmaceutical and mobile electronics markets, among other industries. The company is also known for its strong, team-oriented culture and global recognition from the Great Place to Work® Institute. Headquartered in Newark, Del., Gore employs 9,500 Associates and generates annual revenues of $3.5 billion. www.gore.com
ViaCyte is a privately-held regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to achieve glucose control targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. ViaCyte's product candidates are based on the derivation of pancreatic progenitor cells from stem cells, which are then implanted in durable and retrievable cell delivery devices. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other pancreatic hormones in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte has two product candidates in clinical-stage development. The PEC-Direct™ product candidate delivers the pancreatic progenitor cells in a non-immunoprotective device and is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients who have hypoglycemia unawareness, extreme glycemic lability, and/or recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes. The PEC-Encap™ (also known as VC-01) product candidate delivers the same pancreatic progenitor cells in an immunoprotective device and is being developed for all patients with diabetes, type 1 and type 2, who use insulin. ViaCyte is also seeking to develop immune-evasive 'universal donor' stem cell lines, from its proprietary CyT49 cell line, which have the potential to further broaden the availability of cell therapy for diabetes and other potential indications. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California. ViaCyte is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF. For more information please visit www.viacyte.com. Connect with ViaCyte here: www.twitter.com/viacyte and www.facebook.com/viacyte.
SOURCE ViaCyte, Inc.