Worldwide, 387 million people suffer from diabetes (WHO, 2015). Of these, 153 million people are treated with insulin injections, causing high medical costs, e.g. $14.4 billion in U.S. medical costs and lost income each year.
To provide an effective treatment for diabetes, Betalin Therapeutics (‘Betalin’) is developing the Micro Pancreas, a breakthrough technology that will enable implanting pancreatic cells which include insulin-producing cells (i.e. beta cells) to restore the body’s intrinsic insulin generation capabilities.
Betalin’s Technology: The Micro Pancreas
Betalin’s patented Micro Pancreas is based on the combination of two existing medical procedures (already in human use): (i) Edmonton Protocol, which refers to islet implantation; and (ii) producing micro-scaffolds from biological tissue. Islets are seeded onto the micro-scaffolds, creating a micro-organ having the endocrine functionalities of a pancreas. This miniature organ is implanted in the patients’ body in a simple and minimally invasive procedure. Then, the implanted micro-organ has the capacity to secret insulin in an intrinsic, regulated manner in response to a patient’s blood glucose levels. See video.
Initial Focus: Severe Type-1 Diabetes
Betalin’s strategy is to begin with finding a solution for the most severe and unstable cases of type-1 diabetes. The objective is to release patients with uncontrolled, unbalanced type-1 diabetes from the dependency on insulin injections. This focus is critical for demonstrating the technology’s potential and for the exit strategy.
After achieving the milestone of initiating a phase I human clinical study (by receiving the IND approval from the FDA to begin human trials), Betalin is planning to start carrying out one of the following possible exits:
- IPO (Initial Public Offering) – Executing the IPO on the Nasdaq or the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).
- M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) – Selling the whole company in a cash, equity or a mix of cash and equity deal to a pharma company.
- License – Licensing the Micro Pancreas to a strategic partner, which will pay an upfront sum, milestone payments and royalties.
After successfully securing $2.5 million from private investors and the Israeli OCS (Office of Chief Scientist), Betalin is seeking an additional $3 million in order to reach a milestone of initiating a phase I human clinical study. Betalin expects that it will continue to receive non-diluting R&D grants.
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Betalin seeks partners and investors in India