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Jerusalem – based Betalin Therapeutics is developing a micro-pancreas to liberate diabetic patients from their daily insulin dependency and reduce diabetes healthcare costs, which have reached nearly $1 trillion a year. Betalin is currently raising funds to complete research and pre-clinical studies.

Existing solutions for implanting insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells have, in the past, been shown to be problematic. The pancreatic β-cell plays a key role in glucose homeostasis by secreting insulin, the only hormone capable of lowering the blood glucose concentration. Impaired insulin secretion results in the chronic hyperglycemia that characterizes type 2 diabetes (T2DM), which currently afflicts >450 million people worldwide.  Today, the injection of beta cells into the liver – a process called the Edmonton Protocol – often results in cells dying upon injection and becoming void after a few years. The Edmonton Protocol depends on cadaver donors and is not scalable. Betalin Therapeutics has demonstrated that research using cell therapy to treat insulin-dependent diabetes, by creating an engineered micro-pancreas, originating from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, can provide support for pancreatic beta cells  in functioning and is scalable. This biological pancreas produces insulin independently in the body and renders further injections unnecessary!

To create the micro-pancreas, Betalin integrates insulin-producing cells (e.g., those derived from stem cells) into its patented tissue scaffold, which provides a supportive microenvironment for those cells while also enabling blood and nutrient supply. Unlike current insulin-producing cells which due to their small size (20 to 50 microns) may migrate throughout the body, each micro-pancreas includes about 200,000 insulin-producing cells and does not migrate.

The FDA has designated this procedure as having a “High probability for a breakthrough therapy”.

As testimony to the promise of Betalin Therapeutics’ potential impact on the treatment of diabetes, some of the leading experts in diabetes research and treatment have joined Betalin‘s advisory board, including Nobel laureate Prof. Arieh Warshel, Prof. James Shaw, Professor of Regenerative Medicine for Diabetes and Honorary Consultant Physician at Newcastle University, Prof. Stefan R. Bornstein, Director, Centre for Internal Medicine and the Medical Clinic and Policlinic III, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, (Germany), Prof. James Shapiro, Professor of Surgery, Medicine and Surgical Oncology at the University of Alberta (the developer of Edmonton Protocol), Prof. Lonnie Shea, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Surgery, University of Michigan and just recently Prof. Peter Schwartz, recently elected as the President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Prof. Peter Schwarz, the President-Elect of the International Diabetes Federation and Betalin’s Scientific Advisory Board Member, said (in a short video presented during Betalin’s event on the 4th of July), “Betalin Therapeutics can become a cornerstone for solving the burden of people suffering from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes!”

A major advantage of Betalin’s micro-pancreas is that it is a versatile solution that could support the persistence and functionality of insulin-producing cells from different providers. Thus, it could become a cornerstone for a regenerative medicine-based treatment for millions of diabetic patients. In addition, it requires a simple process to transplant it: With a commonly used device and under local anesthesia, Betalin’s micro-pancreas is transplanted subcutaneously into the patient’s abdominal or leg.

About Betalin Therapeutics

Since it was founded, Betalin has successfully raised funding from private investors, the Israel Innovation Authority, and the European Union (which in addition to two grants through its Horizon 2020 program also invested in Betalin for equity). This has allowed Betalin to build an IP portfolio of four patent families (and is currently working on its fifth family) and achieve strong pre-clinical safety and efficacy results. The company’s team is a well-balanced mixture of seasoned senior executives specializing in biotech commercialization with scientists who have a proven track record in the fields of stem cells and extracellular matrix. Betalin‘s growth has been bolstered by the recent appointment of Dr. Racheli Ofir as CTO and Co-CEO with vast experience in clinical development in the area of regenerative medicine as well as in Intellectual Property and previously was vice president for research & IP at Pluristem Therapeutics. In addition, Dr. Moti Friedman has been appointed as CEO, leveraging his extensive experience in fostering young companies into formidable institutions.

Betalin Therapeutics was established in 2015 to commercialize technology acquired from the Hebrew University. The innovation in Betalin’s technology entails the development of supportive tissue, a biological scaffold that provides support for pancreatic beta-cells, without which the cells have difficulty functioning. Betalin’s products are intended to treat type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetics) and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes patients.

Contact: Ms. Zahava Sobel, Investor Relations
zahava AT, +972-2-992-2025


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