JERUSALEM, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd. (TASE: HDST, OTC: HADSY), a publicly traded portfolio of biotech companies, based on intellectual property developed and owned by Hadassah University Hospital, Israel's foremost medical research center, today announced that its portfolio company, Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd., received significant funding from the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) to support product development and advance clinical trials. Cell Cure's development budget totaling NIS 11.5 million (over $3 million USD) was approved for a grant of close to 50% financial support.
CEO of Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ophir Shahaf, stated, "We are very pleased with the recent grant approvals. This substantial government support, particularly at a time of cut backs in government spending, is a vote of confidence and an expression of faith. The OCS conducted a rigorous evaluation of Cell Cure's scientific, managerial and potential. The financial support will fund up to 60% of certain aspects of the company's activities. Cell Cure is at the forefront of the regenerative medicine field with stem cell therapies posing as the promising future of medicine, attracting worldwide scientific reviews and substantial investments. Using the unique cell lines, directed differentiation process and controlled growth developed by the company, it can cause the cells to differentiate into various cells - cells that could literally replace the damaged cells in the human body in a wide range of diseases."
Mr. Shahaf continued, "In the coming year, we intend to initiate clinical trials in Israel and the U.S. to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Cell Cure's treatment for dry-AMD, OpRegen®. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease that causes retinal degeneration and is the leading cause of blindness in the adult population of the western world, and yet there is no FDA approved treatment to date. Stem cell therapy may be a solution for a variety of diseases, but Cell Cure is focusing initially on AMD as it addresses an unmet medical need as well as a preferable regulatory route for this highly innovative treatment. We believe that this external, non-dilutive funding to further advance our portfolio company's research and development as well as future collaborations with strategic partners in the pharmaceutical industry will continue to build value for the shareholders of Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd."
The OCS grant awarded to Cell Cure was previously announced by BioTime (NYSE MKT: BTX) on May 13, 2013.
For more information on Cell Cure please visit: www.cellcureneurosciences.com
For more information about Hadasit Bio-Holdings please visit: www.hbl.co.il
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SOURCE Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd.