The Israeli and New South Wales Australia governments are backing an Israeli clinical research venture called Kadimastem and the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research’s Bioengineering Diabetes Therapy project seeking to remove the need for insulin injections and pumps for diabetes patients.
The Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research has been working on the use of stem cells to produce new insulin-producing beta cells and then encasing them in protective micro-capsules made from alginate (gel-like substance made from seaweed), reports J-Wire.
What is the Investigational Product?
A device to treat diabetic patients that removes the need for insulin injections and pumps. This device, developed in Australia by a professor Bernie Tuch of the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research, includes micro-capsules that are arranged on special scaffolding inside a small device that is transplanted under the skin. This device allows nutrients into the capsules and insulin to flow into the patient’s bloodstream all the while protecting the beta cells from the patient’s malfunctioning immune system.
Growing Biotech Collaboration between Australia & Israel
Professor Tuch reported to J-Wire that “In June, the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research sent our Research Fellow Dr. Auvro Mridha to transplant the Israeli cells inside our bioengineered device. Whilst he was there, Eric Goldberg from AusTrade came to visit, and he was impressed by the degree of cooperation between the Israelis (Kadimastem Ltd) and us (Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research). Word has filtered out from there, which I believe prompted the visit of the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Chris Cannan, who visited Kadimastem last Wednesday.”
The investigational product is currently in preclinical research phase led by the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research. The plan is to have the partnership members meet in Kadimastem in Israel next month. The goal of these meetings is to plan on how to take this technology into clinical trials and ultimately as Australian Ambassador Chris Cannon noted in J-Wire “lead to major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes, a disease which affects millions of people worldwide.”
Who is Kadimastem Ltd? (KDST)
Kadimastem was founded in 2009 and is a clinical stage biotechnology company with a unique platform for cell therapy that enables the production of off-the-shelf cell-based products for the treatment of unmet medical needs. The company’s intellectual property is based on patent protected technology developed originally by Professor Michel Revel’s laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Michel Revel is the Chief Scientist.
The company projects to lose over $23 million according to Yahoo Finance. They hold about $11.11 million cash in bank.
Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research (AFDR)
AFDR is a not-for-profit health charity founded in 2001 to support researchers developing therapy that will allow the growing number of insulin-dependent Australians to cease having to inject insulin multiple times each day of their lives and to help educate the wider community about the development of therapies to overcome the need for insulin for many young people with diabetes.
Professor Bernie Tuch of the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research