BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Secures Funding to Reach Clinical Trials for ALS
NEW YORK & PETACH TIKVAH, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies and therapeutics, announced today that the company has secured the funding required to complete pre-clinical trials underway for the treatment of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). The company expects to begin Phase I clinical studies in 2010.
The new funding includes both a prestigious grant from the Israeli government's Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) as well as private investment.
"We are very gratified to receive these financial votes of confidence in our breakthrough stem cell technology. The new funding will enable us to complete our pre-clinical studies in ALS and meet our goal of beginning clinical studies in the coming year," said Rami Efrati, CEO of BrainStorm.
The non-equity OCS grant amounts up to $450,000 and marks the third consecutive year in which BrainStorm has been selected as a recipient. The company previously was awarded OCS grants totaling $798,000. BrainStorm's royalty obligations to the OCS are capped at the amount of the grant received from the OCS.
In addition, ACCBT Corporation, a private company investing in biotechnology, has announced that it will implement an additional investment of about $1 million in BrainStorm. ACCBT is under the control of Chaim Lebovits, BrainStorm's President, and has previously invested more than $4 million in the company. The new funding will comprise monthly tranches of $50,000 or more as of August 2009. In return for its investment, ACCBT will receive shares of common stock from the company at a price of $0.12 per share and warrants for $0.29. (Share price as of closing of August 21 is $0.061)
"The promising study results we have seen so far make me confident that the company, with G-D's help, will be able to rapidly progress to a therapy for the unmet medical need of devastating neurodegenerative conditions like ALS," said Mr. Lebovits.
About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics:
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging company developing adult stem cell therapeutic products, derived from autologous (self) bone marrow cells, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The patent pending technology is based on discoveries made by the scientific team led by Professor Eldad Melamed, former Head of Neurology at Rabin Medical Center, and cell biologist Dr. Daniel Offen, Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the Felsenstein Medical Research Center of Tel-Aviv University. The technology allows for the differentiation of bone marrow-derived stem cells into functional neurons and astrocytes, as demonstrated in animal models. The Company holds rights to develop and commercialize the technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., the technology transfer company of Tel-Aviv University. The Company's currently focus is on ALS and Parkinson's, although its technology has promise for treating several others diseases including MS, Huntington's disease and stroke.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute "forward-looking statements" and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements, including BrainStorm's ability to complete its equity financing transactions previously disclosed. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks associated with BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s limited operating history, history of losses and expectation to incur losses for the foreseeable future; minimal working capital and difficulty raising additional capital, dependence on its license to Ramot's technology; ability, together with its licensor, to adequately protect the technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to identify, negotiate and successfully implement strategic partnering relationships; ability to complete clinical trials successfully and to obtain required regulatory approvals; competition with companies, some of which have greater resources and experience in developing and obtaining regulatory approval for treatments in BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s market; the limited public trading market for BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s stock which may never develop into an active market; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission available at http://www.sec.gov/ or by request to the Company. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made by us.