BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, a developer of adult stem cell therapeutics targeting Central Nervous System (CNS) neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. received the first installment of the 2012 grant from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the amount of approximately $350,000. The yearly grant for 2012 is $ 1,100,000 (~4.2 M NIS). The grant is awarded to BrainStorm’s Research and Development program towards the development of its leading and innovative NurOwn therapy for ALS using autologous adult stem cells.
“We are thankful to the OCS for its continued support of our Research and Development program. The non-dilutive capital that we are receiving from the OCS will help move forward our NurOwn technology as a potential new treatment standard for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS),” said Dr. Adrian Harel — BrainStorm’s newly promoted CEO.
BrainStorm is in Phase I/II human clinical trials in Israel with NurOwn, BrainStorm’s adult stem cell therapy in patients with ALS (often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The study is conducted at the Hadassah Medical Center and is headed by principal investigator Dimitrios Karussis, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hadassah Medical Center, together with a scientific team from BrainStorm headed by Prof. Eldad Melamed. The initial phase of the study is designed to assess the safety of NurOwn. As previously announced by Brainstorm (see our press release of March 29, 2012) the interim results for the first 12 patients are expected by July 2012.
“The OCS grant will enable BrainStorm to continue its clinical program and accelerate its development of new CNS indications,” said Chaim Lebovits, President of Brainstorm. “I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Adrian Harel on the occasion of his promotion by the Board of Directors as CEO of Brainstorm. Dr. Harel is successfully leading the company, together with the entire wonderful team at Brainstorm, to the next exciting phase of developing our NurOwn product to treat ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Lebovits.
The OCS has supported BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. the Israeli Subsidiary since 2007, providing grants of a total of $1.75 million including this grant. The Company is required to pay royalties to the OCS, amounting to 3% – 5% of revenues derived from sales of the products funded with these grants, but only up to the amount equal to 100% of the grants received.