Canadian Bioreactor for BrainStorm
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics (OTC.QB: BCLI) has signed an agreement with Octane Biotech of Kingston, Ontario, to jointly develop a proprietary bioreactor for production of its NurOwn stem cell therapy candidate. The customized bioreactor will enable BrainStorm to optimize its NurOwn production process, significantly increasing its production capabilities by using a single clean room for multiple patients, reducing costs and time. The project is supported by a grant awarded by the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF). Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will develop a commercially viable, safe, reliable, and cost-effective bioreactor for scale-up of BrainStorm’s NurOwn stem cell therapy, using Octane’s Automated Cell & Tissue Engineering System (ACTES) technology. The CIIRDF funding award was approved for a period of three years. “Octane is the ideal partner for us, since they have a particular expertise in developing automated production processes for mesenchymal cell therapy technologies,” commented Dr. Adrian Harel, BrainStorm’s CEO. “We are anxious to move ahead with this project, in order to be in a position to provide NurOwn as quickly as possible, and to as many patients as possible, in the near future.” “The opportunity to work with BrainStorm on scaling-up the NurOwn production process is a particularly meaningful one, given the urgency of its target population,” said Dr. Tim Smith, Octane’s CEO. “We are confident that our combined knowledge base and commitment to the project will help advance their product significantly closer to clinical use.” BrainStorm is currently conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial in ALS patients at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and is planning to expand its clinical development in the USA, pending FDA approval. Towards that goal, the Company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to begin ALS human clinical trials at these institutions.