NESS ZIONA, Israel, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announced that its scientific research has been published in the prestigious medical journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy. The link to the article is: https://stemcellres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13287-018-0890-5
The article reviews the comprehensive scientific research, led by the company's Chief Scientist, Professor Michel Revel, and its VP R&D for ALS and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dr. Michal Izrael, of its flagship product, AstroRx®. The article describes the safety and efficacy results of the product in model animals and its various mechanisms of action, which prevent the death of motor neurons that are damaged in ALS. The results described in the article constitute the foundation of the clinical trial the company is currently conducting in ALS patients using AstroRx®. The clinical trial is being conducted in the Department of Neurology of the Hadassah Ein-Kerem Medical Center, and interim results are expected within the coming year.
Professor Michel Revel, the company's Chief Scientist, noted: "This article summarizes the scientific research performed by Kadimastem over years, which resulted in the development of AstroRx®, recently approved for clinical trial as cell therapy for ALS patients. In ALS, motor neurons that are responsible for the function of the body's muscles are degenerated due to the malfunctioning of astrocytes (nervous system support cells). In the research, we developed a method which enables the use of stem cells for the production of large quantities of healthy support cells, similar to those in the human brain, and the cells have been proven to possess several mechanisms of action for the protection of neuron survival. After their injection into the spinal cord fluid, the cells demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in lab animals with ALS. Moreover, the treatment was proven safe in a large animal study, which enabled the approval of the clinical trial in ALS patients. The publication of the extensive research performed by Kadimastem is also an opportunity to extend our appreciation to the company's entire scientific and regulatory team, on a true achievement."
Yossi Ben-Yossef, the company's CEO, added: "We are proud of the publication of the article in the prestigious journal and of the international scientific community's recognition of the company's advanced technology. The results published in the article enabled the clinical trial in ALS patients that the company is currently conducting. I hope and believe that treatment with AstroRx® will improve the condition of the patients participating in the trial."
The article is titled: "Safety and efficacy of human embryonic stem cell-derived astrocytes following intrathecal transplantation in SOD1G93A and NSG animal models." The research tested the efficacy of AstroRx® in inhibiting the progress of ALS in animal models, and found the treatment to significantly improve the sick animals' motoric ability and their life expectancy. Additionally, the research used immunodeficient animal models to demonstrate the safety of the treatment. The research also tested AstroRx®'s mechanisms of action and demonstrated its support of the survivability of motor neurons, which are damaged in ALS patients, by the simultaneous deployment of several effective mechanisms. This is the treatment's most significant advantage over available treatments for ALS, whose efficacy is highly limited, and to drugs under development, which work with a single mechanism. AstroRx®'s mechanisms of action include the removal of excess toxic glutamate, of which patients typically have high levels, protection against oxidative stress, and the secretion of approximately forty factors known to prevent the death of motor neurons, which are damaged in ALS.
Kadimastem (www.kadimastem.com) is a clinical stage 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 technology for 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.
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.