NEW YORK, NY and PETACH TIKVAH, ISRAEL and KINGSTON, ON--(Marketwired - June 27, 2014) - BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQB: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, and Octane Biotech Inc., a Canadian firm that focuses on clinical systems for cell and tissue therapy, announced today that they have reached an important milestone in their technology collaboration, successfully constructing an Alpha prototype of a customized bioreactor for BrainStorm's NurOwn™ neurotrophic-factor secreting mesenchymal stem cells. The proprietary bioreactor under development will provide BrainStorm with large-scale manufacturing capabilities, enabling it to achieve economies of scale for its autologous stem cell product.
Octane and BrainStorm have successfully developed a sophisticated Alpha prototype of the NurOwn™ Bioreactor, utilizing a customized disposable cartridge that is dedicated to the intricacies of BrainStorm's NurOwn™ process. Operating within the Cocoon™ clinical delivery platform pioneered by Octane, the Alpha prototype automates the entire NurOwn™ process for unmatched process control and production economy. Based on this first working prototype, BrainStorm and Octane are quickly advancing to the next stage of system qualifications in anticipation of adopting all the benefits of cell production automation as quickly as possible for full clinical use.
BrainStorm's Chief Executive Officer Tony Fiorino, MD, PhD, said that "Improving in the scale and efficiency of our manufacturing process is an important focus area for the company, and the achievement of this milestone in our collaboration with Octane is an important indicator of our commitment to and progress in advancing NurOwn™ manufacturing. I look forward to entering the next phase of the collaboration with Octane."
"The positive results we have achieved so far provide the partnership team with confidence that the scale-up objectives of the program are achievable through the use of the Octane technology," further commented Dr. Timothy Smith, CEO of Octane Biotech. "Our strong working relationship with BrainStorm across the many areas of biology, engineering and quality control has been highly productive. This type of close collaboration with clear clinical, technical and commercial goals is critical to success and is how Octane interacts with all our global partners."
"We are excited about this significant milestone for the Octane-BrainStorm team as well as for the autologous stem cell industry in general," commented Chaim Lebovits, President of BrainStorm. "We look forward to continued progress from this outstanding technology collaboration and are grateful to CIIRDF for their funding of this important project."
About Octane Biotech, Inc.
Octane develops innovative bioreactor-based systems to meet the production challenges inherent in the progressive scale-up of manual cell culture protocols. The company's unique Automated Cell & Tissue Engineering System integrates state-of-the-art bioreactors, biosensors and bioprocessing to enable routine GMP production of cell-based products for clinical therapeutics. Octane Biotech Inc. is one of three affiliated companies within the Octane Medical Group. For more information, visit the company's website at www.OctaneCo.com.
About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of first-of-its-kind adult stem cell therapies derived from autologous bone marrow cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds the rights to develop and commercialize its NurOwn technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot, the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University. For more information, visit the company's website at www.brainstorm-cell.com.
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. Terms and phrases such as "may", "should", "would", "could", "will", "expect", "likely", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "predict", "potential", and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks associated with BrainStorm's limited operating history, history of losses; minimal working capital, dependence on its license to Ramot's technology; ability to adequately protect the technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to obtain required regulatory approvals; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available at http://www.sec.gov. These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BrainStorm's forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management as of the date of this press release. We do not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or assumptions if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, unless otherwise required by law. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.