Xi’an International Entrepreneurship Competition (abbreviated as “XIEC”) is a Chinese annual international innovation and entrepreneurship conference for cooperation and communication through international competitions. The competitions are committed to attracting investment and accelerate domestic and foreign advanced technical achievements to Xi’an by gathering resources and attracting domestic and international high-end innovation and entrepreneurship talents, teams, projects and financial investment institutions.
The competition started in Israel, where Betalin Therapeutics won the first prize and was selected as the Israeli contestant to participate in China. Over there, Betalin Therapeutics won the much coveted second prize of this year’s competition out of hundreds of different competing startups, all promoting cutting edge innovative technologies. Betalin Therapeutics, represented by Shay Hershcovich, was chosen as the most promising startup in Israel in 2017. Not only did the startup raised a significant amount, they also now spread awareness in China and Israel, have more investors and contacts to pursue their future.
Betalin is aiming to provide a tissue-derived acellular micro-scaffold that will extend the life and the insulin-producing performance of transplanted beta cells, in order to reduce or eliminate the dependence of some diabetics on insulin therapy. Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease that results from the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Its cause is still uncertain and there is no known way to prevent its onset. With~70,000 new cases diagnosed each year, it is estimated that ~17 mn people worldwide are afflicted with T1DM. In the US alone, T1DM results in $14.4 bn in medical costs and lost income annually. Type 1 diabetics face a lifetime regime of insulin therapy and very careful lifestyle management in an attempt to mitigate the long-term complications associated with T1DM such as cardiovascular disease, damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves, and premature death.
In recent years, islet transplantation has been researched as a treatment for T1DM. The procedure involves injecting millions of islets (the pancreatic cell clusters that “house” the insulinproducing beta cells) harvested from cadavers, followed by immunosuppression therapy. Islet transplantation is a promising approach but the naked islets are very unstable: they must be transplanted almost immediately after harvesting and up to 80% of the transplanted islets stop functioning within 24hrs. The result is that, after five years, less than 10% of the recipients are free of daily insulin treatment. Betalin’s technology is based on the premise that in order for beta cells to function properly it is necessary to provide an appropriate stromal (connective tissue) micro-environment.
The proprietary platform technology is a method to prepare acellular organ-derived micro-scaffolds that preserve the architecture and the basic composition of organ stroma and ensure that no seeded cell will be more than 150 microns from a source of nutrients and gases.
About Betalin Therapeutics Betalin Therapeutics is developing an Engineered Micro Pancreas (EMP) to improve the quality of life for millions of people with diabetes. Betalin Therapeutics licensed the novel EMP technology developed at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in an exclusive worldwide agreement in 2015. The Hebrew University continues to partner with Betalin Therapeutics to support the research and development.
Based on promising in vitro results and preliminary in vivo results, Betalin Therapeutics has recently submitted a pre-pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Following the FDA’s positive response, Betalin Therapeutics is now preparing the pre-IND meeting on its way towards IND submission. Betalin Therapeutics is currently raising funding in order to further optimize the therapy in animal models, complete submission of the IND application to the FDA, and proceed to clinical trials. Betalin Therapeutics was recently awarded a competitive matching grant from the Office of the Chief Scientist, doubling the impact of investments made at this stage.
For more information, see: Betalin Therapeutics http://betalintherapeutics.com/most-promising%20startup-in-Israel.html