Latest market and finance developments compiled from October 01 — November 30 2016.
Latest capital market and finance developments in the field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine compiled from publicly available information and press releases from non-academic institutions from October 01 — November 30 2016 scheduled to be published in Volume 12 Issue 2 of Regenerative Medicine.
A four-organization biotech group led by BioBridge Global (TX, USA, http://BioBridgeGlobal.org) has been awarded a US$ 7.8 million contract from the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC, http://mtec-sc.org), which will enable the development of large-scale manufacturing capabilities for clinical-grade human Mesenchymal Cells (hMSCs) for research and therapeutic use. The group is composed of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Coagulation and Blood Research (USAISR, www.usaisr.amedd.army.mil), StemBioSys (TX, USA; www.stembiosys.com) and RoosterBio (MD, USA; www.roosterbio.com). MTEC is a nonprofit corporation created by the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command (http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil) to collaborate with companies, universities, foundations and other entities to develop medical technology solutions through flexible and innovative business practices. The consortium proposes to address the issue of large-scale manufacturing of stem cells with good quality attributes by developing economical platforms supporting the development of cost-effective products and related services for use in regenerative medicine. The contract will fund scale-up of xeno-free biomanufacturing processes for stem cells. RoosterBio will expand its existing novel human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) product platforms in several phases, BioBridge Global subsidiary GenCure will work with RoosterBio and StemBioSys to develop a novel, xeno-free nutrient source for hMSCs in culture, testing a range of source materials available at BioBridge Global and integrating technology developed by StemBioSys. USAISR Coagulation and Blood Research will assist in development and evaluation of media components and develop assays to test the hMSCs for safety and potency. Interestingly, RoosterBio recently signed a commercial collaboration agreement with Pall Corporation (NY, USA; www.pall.com) for co-development and marketing partnership, delivering complete solutions for industrial-scale bioreactor expansion of hMSCs.
Emulate, Inc. today announced that it has expanded its Series B financing with an additional US$ 17 million in equity funding, bringing the total amount raised in the Series B round to US$ 45 million. The expanded funding from the Series B financing will be used to augment the translation of Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips technology into a commercially available Human Emulation System. The lab-ready system includes Organ-Chips, instrumentation and software apps and is designed to provide a new R&D platform that predicts human response to diseases, medicines, chemicals and foods with greater precision and detail than cell culture or animal testing experimental methods.
Magenta Therapeutics (MA, USA; www.magentatx.com) has completed a $48.5M Series A financing. Three focus areas of the company are novel targeted therapeutics for patient conditioning, rapid and efficient agents for stem cell harvesting, and new methods to promote stem cell growth during culture in the laboratory.
Orchard Therapeutics (UK; http://orchard-tx.com) and the University of California, Los Angeles (www.ucla.edu) have been awarded US$ 20 million by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM; CA, USA; www.cirm.ca.gov). The grant will fund a new clinical trial for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency caused by adenosine deaminase deficiency, commonly known as ADA-SCID “bubble baby” disease. ADA-SCID is a rare inherited disorder of the immune system. ADA-SCID is caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the enzyme adenosine deaminase, which result in a severe deficiency in white blood cells and life-threatening infections. In the absence of treatment, ADA-SCID is fatal within the first months of life. To date, over 40 ADA-SCID patients have been treated in clinical trials with autologous ex-vivo lentiviral gene therapy at UCLA, Los Angeles and at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK (www.gosh.org). All patients have survived (100% overall survival) and the treatment has been shown to restore patients’ immune function, with a favorable safety profile. The treatment uses the patient’s own stem cells which are modified with a functioning copy of the missing or faulty gene before being transplanted back the patient’s body.
Plasticell (UK; www.plasticell.co.uk) completed a two-part equity financing round, raising a total of £1.32 million (US$ 1.6 million) from its shareholders and new investors. The investment will provide capital to progress the company’s therapeutic programs, including the expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and in vitro manufacturing of blood products such as platelets, red blood cells and cancer immunotherapies.
Promethera Biosciences (Belgium; www.promethera.com) has raised EUR 10 million (US$ 11 million) in a Series C-extension financing. The proceeds will be used to expand Promethera’s product development focus to include larger liver disease indications such as acute-on-chronic liver failure, nonalcoholic steatohepatits and Fibrosis and to accelerate these developments towards the clinic.