Stem Cell Medicine Signs License and Research Agreement with Ramot and Yeda to Develop Stem Cell-Based Treatments for Neuronal Diseases
Jerusalem, Israel, December 2, 2015 — Stem Cell Medicine Ltd. (SCM), Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. (Ramot), and Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd. (YEDA), announced today that they have entered into a license and research funding agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, SCM will fund Stem Cell-Based Treatments for Neuronal Diseases research at Tel Aviv University led by Professor Dani Offen, in cooperation with Professor David Yaffe of the Weizmann Institute of Science. SCM will hold the exclusive worldwide license for the development and the commercialization of the resulting technology and therapeutic product pipeline. SCM will develop products based on the technology through production and registration.
The research focuses on allogeneic, genetically modified muscle progenitor cell technology, comprised of four neurotrophic factors (NTFs), all of which play a key role in nerve regeneration. This technology, now licensed to SCM, will serve as the basis of new therapies intended for the treatment of several neuronal diseases. These include, but are not limited to, Peripheral Nerve Injury (PNI).
SCM’s Chairman, Ehud Marom, said, “The licensing of the novel technology of genetically modified muscle progenitor cells is in line with our strategy to license in and develop highly promising stem cell-based technologies with the potential to affect big markets. We believe that this impressive science is synergistic with SCM’s strong product development capabilities.”
Shlomo Nimrodi, Ramot Chief Executive Officer, said “We believe SCM is the right partner to further develop this novel cell therapy approach. An improvement of motor function in models of motor neurons diseases using neurotrophic factors secreting cells has been shown, and we are certain that SCM will contribute significantly to this technology’s leap to a full pharmaceutical solution.
About Peripheral Nerve Injury (PNI)
PNI results in partial or total loss of motor, sensory, and autonomic functions in the involved segments of the body, ending with severe disabilities for the patients. PNI is caused by nerve compression or trauma, among other causes. The failure of axons to regenerate properly following PNI results from a decreased functionality of the neurons, and the absence of supporting NTFs. Since the nerve axon usually regenerates slowly, muscle regeneration is hampered. The incidence of no gap PNI, is observed in more than 300,000 cases per year in the US alone. There is a clear unmet medical need as offering enhanced nerve repair and prevention of muscle atrophy represents major challenges.
About Stem Cell Medicine Ltd. (SCM)
SCM develops pharmaceuticals based on stem cells and combinations of stem cells and therapeutics and manages the production, registration and marketing of such products. SCM’s pipeline currently consists of product-candidates in the neurological, oncology and CLI fields. The company, headquartered in Jerusalem, was founded in 2010 by an experienced team of entrepreneurs in the life science & pharmaceutical industries. SCM’s facilities include state-of-the-art R&D laboratories and GMP production cleanrooms that enable an optimal environment for the development of products up to and including clinical trials.
Ramot is Tel Aviv University business engagement center. Ramot fosters, initiates, leads, and manages the transfer of new technologies from university laboratories to the marketplace by performing all activities relating to the protection and commercialization of inventions and discoveries made by faculty, students and other researchers. Ramot provides a dynamic interface connecting industry to leading-edge science and innovation, offering new business opportunities in a broad range of emerging markets.
YEDA Research and Development Company Ltd. is the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science. YEDA initiates and promotes the transfer to the global marketplace of research findings and innovative technologies developed by Weizmann Institute of Science researchers. YEDA holds an exclusive agreement with the Weizmann Institute of Science to market and commercialize its intellectual property and generate income to support further research and education.