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BioTime, Teva and Hadasit invest $7 million in Cell Cure Neurosciences October 11, 2010

Posted by israelhealthcare in stem cell.
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American biotechnology company BioTime, Israel Pharmaceutical company Teva, and Hadasit Bio Holdings (HBL) , the biotech financing arm of Hadasit, have invested $7.1 million in Cell Cure Neurosciences. This equity investment will support the company’s development of innovative stem cell treatments for neural and retinal diseases.

As part of the funding round Cell Cure and Teva have entered into an exclusive license option agreement to develop and commercialize Cell Cure’s OpRegen product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). OpRegen is a proprietary formulation of embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells designed by Cell Cure to help save the sight of the baby boomer generation.

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the aging population. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 1.8 million people in the United States have advanced stage AMD and another 7.3 million have an earlier stage and are at risk of vision impairment from the disease. Most people are afflicted with the dry form of the disease, for which there is currently no effective treatment.

The financial funding will also enable Cell Cure to continue the development of human embryonic stem cell-based therapies for neural degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“Cell Cure will be collaborating with one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and with affiliates of Hadassah Medical Organization, to develop new treatments for diseases that rob millions of people of their eye sight,” said Dr. Michael D. West, Chief Executive Officer at BioTime. “This is consistent with our focus on making Cell Cure, our majority owned subsidiary, a center for developing cell based therapies for retinal and neural degenerative diseases.”

This financial round extends previous investments by Teva and HBL in Cell Cure. BioTime already held a significant interest in Cell Cure which it acquired through its acquisition of ES Cell International (ESI) in May of 2010. Following BioTime’s acquisition of ESI and its additional investment in Cell Cure, Cell Cure has become the neurological arm of BioTime’s program for the development of human embryonic stem cell based therapies.

Cell Cure Neurosciences was founded in late 2005 as an Israeli subsidiary of ESI, aiming to develop cell-therapy products for the cure of neurodegenerative disorders. The company is located in Jerusalem, Israel on the campus of Hadassah University Hospital.

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