BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. received nearly $1.1 million in funding from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) to support the development of NurOwn™, BrainStorm’s therapeutic platform for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
BrainStorm is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of innovative adult stem cell therapies that derive from autologous bone marrow cells that can be used for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
NurOwn™, the company’s mesenchymal stem cell-based platform, plans to develop and commercialize the technology thanks to an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot, a technology transfer organization that is a part of Tel Aviv University.
This grant will support the Phase 2 clinical program in ALS. According to the ALS Association, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. More than 30,000 Americans suffer from the disease.
Tony Fiorino, BrainStorm’s CEO, commented in a press release: “We are most grateful to the OCS for its ongoing support of our important research and development activities, and we certainly view this grant as a validation of our belief in the potential of the NurOwn™ platform. We have much work planned for the continued development of our novel cell therapy, and this non-dilutive funding will provide very meaningful support for our efforts.”
The OCS has been supporting BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. for seven years through grants that are making the development of NurOwn™ possible. OCS already gave $4.1 million to the advancement of the technology. According to the press release: “BrainStorm is required to pay mid-single digit royalties to the OCS based on sales of the products, up to a total of the cumulative amount of OCS grants received plus accumulated interest.”