Today, leading developer of adult stem cell technologies BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has secured the necessary funding to complete pre-clinical trials for treatments of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease). The funding includes a prestigious grant from the Israeli governmentâ€™s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) as well as a private investment.
CEO of BrainStorm, Rami Efrati, stated, â€œWe are very gratified to receive these financial votes of confidence in our breakthrough stem cell technology. The new funding will enable us to complete our pre-clinical studies in ALS and meet our goal of beginning clinical studies in the coming year.â€
The non-equity OCS grant totals $450,000 and marks the third consecutive year BrainStorm has received the award. Previously, the company received OCS grants totaling $798,000. BrainStormâ€™s royalty obligations to the OCS are capped at the amount of the grant received from the OCS.
Additionally, ACCBT Corporation, a private company that invests in biotechnology, announced that it will give an additional investment of about $1 million in BrainStorm. The new funding will comprise monthly tranches of $50,000 or more. ACCBT, under the control of BrainStormâ€™s president Chaim Lebovits, has previously invested more than $4 million in the company. ACCBT will receive shares of common stock from the company at a price of $0.12 per share and warrants for $0.29.
Mr. Lebovits commented, â€œThe promising study results we have seen so far make me confident that the company, with G-D’s help, will be able to rapidly progress to a therapy for the unmet medical need of devastating neurodegenerative conditions like ALS.â€
The company expects to begin Phase I clinical studies in 2010.