NEW YORK, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ltd. - (TASE: HDST; OTCBB: HADSY), a publicly traded portfolio of biotech companies, all based on intellectual property developed and owned by Hadassah University Hospital, Israel's foremost medical research center, and its subsidiary, BioMarCare Technologies Ltd. ("BioMarCare") announced that the prestigious Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has given final approval for a $900,000 grant for a joint project between BioMarCare and Ariadne Inc., an American partner. The companies intend to develop a panel of biological markers ("bio-markers") that will predict response or lack of response to drugs based on inhibitors of the EGF receptor, which is an active receptor on the cell wall. Drugs tested will include drugs such as cetuximab for metastatic colon cancer patients.
According to the agreement between the companies, BioMarCare will develop the test while conducting a clinical trial in Israel at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. Following a successful completion of the development stage, Ariadne will be responsible for the more comprehensive clinical trials, regulatory approval and product launch in the U.S., while BioMarCare has reserved the right to commercialize the product in Europe.
BioMarCare has also notified Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ltd. that it plans to expand its clinical trial to include the Rambam Medical center, after having received the approval of the Helsinki Committee there.
"The BIRD Foundation's funding is part of an effort to develop bio-markers for a more effective colon cancer treatment," commented Dana Cohen, CEO of BioMarCare. "Tests that can predict the failure of medical therapies are essential to prolong a patient's life expectancy and quality of life with a proven economic value. Biological drugs for the treatment of metastatic colon cancer are very expensive treatments, and on top of that, a significant percentage of patients do not respond to them. By using a panel of protein biomarkers, the group of patients that will not respond can be identified and treated with more effective therapies at an earlier stage, enabling a better outcome for patients."
This announcement comes on the heels of a prior release in which BioMarCare reported that Micromedic will invest $1 million in BioMarCare, with an option for an additional investment of $1 million. More information on that release can be found at http://www.hbl.co.il/press_item.asp?ID=113.
Commenting on the grant approval, CEO of Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ophir Shahaf stated, "We are delighted to receive this external funding for BioMarCare, which allows us to further promote another portfolio company of Hadasit Bio-Holdings. BioMarCare and Ariadne's collaboration together with the funding from the BIRD foundation is an example of the business activities we promote in all of our portfolio companies. Over the past two years we have led a number of our portfolio companies to significant agreements and partnerships with international pharmaceutical companies, and we believe that in the coming year we will attain additional business achievements that will increase shareholder value. The bio-marker market is showing accelerated growth, mainly due to the desire of large pharmaceutical companies to study the efficacy of the drugs developed for treatment of cancer patients. BioMarCare and Ariadne's joint project directly addresses this trend."
About BioMarCare Technologies:
BioMarCare Technologies Ltd. develops diagnostic kits based on novel biomarkers for early cancer identification, monitoring and assistance with personalized drug treatment, by a simple blood test or standard biopsy. The company's intellectual property is based on extensive studies by senior doctors and researchers at Hadassah.
The company is managed by Mrs. Dana Cohen and the company's intellectual property is based on the work of the best doctors and researchers of the world renowned Hadassah Hospital. Prof. Tamar Peretz, director of the department of oncology at Hadassah Ein Kerem is BioMarCare's CMO.
For more information please visit - www.biomarcare.com
About Hadasit Bio Holdings:
Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ltd., established in 2006, is the publicly traded subsidiary of Hadasit Ltd. - the technology transfer company of the Hadassah University Hospital, Israel's foremost medical research center. The Company was established for the purpose of promoting and commercializing the intellectual property and R&D capabilities generated by Hadassah.
Hadasit Bio-Holdings focuses on advancing companies that are past successful preclinical trials and close to completion of Phase I/II clinical trials. Its portfolio companies develop drugs with blockbuster potential (with markets worth over one billion dollars) and operate in the fields of cancer, inflammatory diseases and tissue regeneration using stem cells - areas in which the Hadassah Hospital has extensive knowledge and recognition as a global leader.
HADSY is the domestically traded ADR of Hadasit Bio-Holdings, a public investment vehicle representing a portfolio of biotech companies, all based on inventions developed at Hadassah.
For more information please visit: www.hbl.co.il
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SOURCE Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ltd.