Latest developments compiled from 1—30 September 2014
Latest developments in the field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine compiled from publicly available information and press releases from non-academic institutions 1—30 September 2014, scheduled to be published in Volume 10 Issue 1 of Regenerative Medicine.
Capital market and finances
BioRestorative Therapies (FL, USA; www.biorestorative.com) has been awarded up to $500,000 in performance-based Excelsior Tax Credits from Empire State Development (ESD), New York State’s economic development agency, as part of a relocation incentive package from the State, as well an estimated $146,000 of sales tax exemptions and property tax abatement from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The incentive package awarded by ESD is to assist the Company with its job-creation project related to the relocation of its corporate headquarters from FL to NY state. Under the package, the Company will be committed to employ 15 new full-time permanent employees at its Suffolk County headquarters by June 30, 2017, and to maintain that level of employment through January 1, 2025.
Cellerant and BARDA
Cellerant Therapeutics (CA, USA; www.cellerant.com) has received US$ 47.5 million from the government to develop its treatment for radiation poisoning. If approved, the feds could buy the drug for the Strategic National Stockpile, which is a part of Project Bioshield – a portion of the Bush-era War on Terror that medically readies the nation against “chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.” This is part of a US$ 163.8 million commitment from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA; www.phe.gov/about/barda/Pages/default.aspx). The new dollars will go toward Phase 2 trial in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, as well as the preclinical trials to treat radiation poisoning, or Acute Radiation Syndrome.
Major nonlife insurance companies started selling new packages to insure cell-cultivating companies against errors in regenerative medicine. The new packages are expected to encourage patients and hospitals to make use of regenerative medicine, as they will help cell-culturing firms pay compensation if problems arise in cultivated cells during treatments and clinical tests. The sale of such packages was timed with the enforcement of the law to secure the safety of regenerative medicine, which enables hospitals to commission private companies specializing in cell cultivation to perform the work. Till then, hospitals were the only entities allowed to do so. The new packages are made available to such firms, which will pay premiums and receive insurance money when they commit errors in their procedures and be held responsible for compensating patients. For example, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance (www.sjnk.co.jp/english/) is selling regenerative medicine insurance packages that would pay up to US$ 5,900,000 (¥500 million) in benefits. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance (www.tokiomarine-nichido.co.jp/en/) and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (www.ms-ins.com/english/) also introduced similar packages. The packages were developed based on extensive discussions conducted by the insurance industry, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and medical experts.