NEW YORK & PETACH TIKVAH, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies and therapeutics, today announced that it has retained MD Becker Partners LLC, a boutique management and strategy consulting firm focusing on both public and private companies in the life sciences industry.
As a strategic supporter and partner, MD Becker Partners will work directly with BrainStorm’s senior management team and Board of Directors to help the company increase visibility, unlock stakeholder value and access resources to grow its business. To accomplish this, the firm will integrate strategy, relations, and operational capabilities and apply them to carefully conceived and expertly enacted tactics.
“Using our NurOwn stem cell technology platform, BrainStorm’s lead program for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is expected to enter Phase I/II clinical trials in 2010,” stated Chaim Lebovits, President of BrainStorm. “As we approach this important milestone, MD Becker Partners’ unique experience in both the scientific and business aspects of biotechnology combined with extensive industry knowledge and close personal relationships makes them an ideal strategic partner for BrainStorm.”
In February 2010, BrainStorm entered into a collaborative agreement with the world-renowned Hadassah Medical Center to conduct a Phase I/II clinical trial in ALS patients at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
The principal investigator for the Phase I/II trial is Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hadassah Medical Organization. The clinical trial protocol has been submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Health and is currently under review. Additional information is available at ClinicalTrials.gov using the identifier NCT01051882.
BrainStorm initiated manufacturing runs using its proprietary cell growth process in preparation of producing clinical trial materials under good manufacturing practice standards at the Hadassah Medical Center GMP facility. Upon completion of this process, the Phase I/II trial for patients with ALS is expected to begin pending approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health, which BrainStorm currently anticipates during the second half of 2010.
BrainStorm’s core technology, NurOwn, is based on the scientific achievements of Professor Eldad Melamed, former Head of Neurology, Rabin Medical Center, and Tel-Aviv University, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and Professor Daniel Offen, Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory, Felsenstein Medical Research Center (FMRC) at the Tel-Aviv University.
The NurOwn technology processes adult human mesenchymal stem cells, which are present in bone marrow and are capable of self-renewal as well as differentiation into many other cell types. The research team is among the first to have successfully achieved the in vitro differentiation of adult bone marrow cells (animal and human) into characteristic neuron-like cells capable of releasing dopamine as well as into astrocyte-like cells capable of releasing several neurotrophic factors, including glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). The ability to induce differentiation into astrocytes-like cells along with subcutaneous delivery makes NurOwn technology highly attractive for treating ALS and Parkinson’s disease as well as MS and spinal cord injury.
About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Approximately 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time, with 100,000 throughout the Western world. The total cost of treating ALS patients is approximately $1.25 billion.
About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging company developing adult stem cell therapeutic products, derived from autologous (self) bone marrow cells, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds rights to develop and commercialize the technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., the technology transfer company of Tel-Aviv University.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute “forward-looking statements” and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include risks associated with BrainStorm’s limited operating history, history of losses; minimal working capital, dependence on its license to Ramot’s technology; ability to adequately protect the technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to obtain required regulatory approvals; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available at http://www.sec.gov. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made by us.