Hadasit, the bio incubator at Je’s rudsalemHadassah hospital, sold its 21% stake in CellCure, which develops stem cell implants for treatment of retinal degeneration, to BioTime for $12.75 million.
Cellcure’s technology is based on human embryonic stem cells (hESC), which, for the first time in the history of medicine, open the door to the industrial-scale manufacture of any cell type in the human body. Cellcure is using these powerful stem cells to manufacture a particular cell type in the retina called the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell.
When RPE cells are lost due to aging, a disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD) results resulting in degradation of vision and even blindness. CellCure’s first product in development, OpRegen, contains hESC-derived RPE to treat AMD. Unlike currently marketed products designed to treat only the wet form of AMD (10% of AMD patients), OpRegen is being developed as a first-line therapy for the dry form of AMD (about 90% of AMD patients). Despite serving only the wet AMD market, the currently marketed products have achieved >$5B in annual sales.
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See CellCure’s website: http://www.cellcureneurosciences.com/