SAN DIEGO, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a leading regenerative medicine company focused on developing new approaches to treat major diseases through the application of a stem cell-derived cell therapy, announced today that it completed a private equity financing transaction, providing the Company $10.6 million through the sale of Series C-1 Preferred Stock, together with warrants to purchase stock. The financing, conducted as a rights offering to ViaCyte Series B and C Preferred Stock holders, included the Company's largest existing investors - Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Sanderling Ventures and Asset Management Company (Johnson Trust).
This funding serves as a match for a $10.1 million Strategic Partnership Award (SPA) that was approved last October by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support clinical evaluation of VC-01, ViaCyte's promising encapsulated cell-therapy product being developed as a transformative therapy for patients with type 1 and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. In addition, ViaCyte may sell additional shares of Series C-1 Preferred Stock and warrants in one or more subsequent closings that may occur during the remainder of 2013.
The Company will use the funds to pursue clinical development of VC-01. VC-01 is a development-stage product that consists of pancreatic precursor cells (designated PEC-01) manufactured through directed differentiation of stem cells sourced from a proprietary human embryonic stem cell line, and encapsulated in a proprietary, immune protective medical device (the ENCAPTRA® device). When implanted under the skin, the encapsulated cells are designed to further differentiate into insulin and other hormone-producing pancreatic cells that regulate blood glucose in a manner similar or identical to a normal pancreas.
Kevin D'Amour, Ph.D., ViaCyte's Chief Scientific Officer, recently provided an update on VC-01 during a presentation at the 73rd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association entitled Development of an Encapsulated Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Diabetes. The presentation highlighted the tremendous progress ViaCyte has made in the preclinical development of VC-01. ViaCyte is currently planning to file its Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes early next year. If VC-01 performs in humans as it has in preclinical studies, it could significantly alleviate or eliminate the challenges and complications for Type 1 diabetics who manage their disease through careful control of diet, monitoring of blood glucose levels and injection of insulin.
The SPA from CIRM provides ViaCyte with $10.1 million to support the clinical study planned for next year and complements previous funding from CIRM. This award reflects CIRM's commitment to follow promising science through the progressive stages of product development. The Company has also received and continues to receive both scientific and financial support for the development of VC-01 from JDRF.
Paul Laikind, Ph.D., ViaCyte's president and chief executive officer, said, "We are very gratified by the continued support of our investors and CIRM as we prepare to evaluate the safety and efficacy of VC-01. This promising product candidate has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of patients who currently require insulin injections to survive. Moreover, success of VC-01 will validate ViaCyte's proprietary, stem cell-derived cell therapy platform that has multiple applications, as well as demonstrate the full utility of the Company's encapsulation technology for enabling allogeneic cell therapy treatments."
ViaCyte, a private company that has emerged as a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, is currently focused on developing a novel cell therapy for the treatment of diabetes. The Company's lead product is based on the production of pancreatic progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cells. These cells are implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte's goal for this potentially transformative diabetes product is long term insulin independence without immune suppression, and without risk of hypoglycemia and other diabetes-related complications.
ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia. The Company is funded in part by CIRM and JDRF.
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that ViaCyte intends, expects, projects, believes, hopes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon certain assumptions and assessments made by ViaCyte's management and are subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. The forward-looking statements represent ViaCyte's assumptions and assessments as of the date of this press release, and ViaCyte undertakes no obligation to correct, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this press release for any reason.
SOURCE ViaCyte, Inc.