Israeli stem cell co BiogenCell raises $1m

The firm was founded a year ago and seeks to treat blood flow issues.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that stem cell start-up BiogenCell Ltd. has raised $1 million. The company was founded a year ago on the basis of research by CEO Dr. Yael Porat, formerly CTO of stem cell firm TheraVitae Company Ltd.

BiogenCell's product aims to treat blood flow problems in the limbs, a side effect of diabetes and heart disease. The product's uniqueness is the use of autologous cells (cells derived from the patients themselves) to repair themselves. The company's technology separates cells that have not yet undergone full cell speciation using special receptors found only in these cells.

The technology will be presented for the first time at a conference produced by Laniado Hospital's Bildirici Center for Diabetes Care and Research. The conference, called "Diabetes: Translating Knowledge Into Clinical Care", will run from December 21-23.

Porat said, "Cells from an adult include stem and early-stage cells. The company's product is a mid-stage cell, which has already partly speciated, but still has some degree of flexibility."

Biogencell is collaborating with physicians at Laniado Hospital in Netanya, where the company's premises are located.

Other Israeli stem cell companies include Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT), which is also seeking to create new blood vessels from stem cells derived from the placenta, rather than the patient himself. Biogencell's treatment aims at creating blood vessel tissue in the damaged area, which will improve function of existing blood vessels as well as the injected tissue.

Porat said, "Part of the effect seems to be derived from the cells themselves, and part from excreted substances that encourage healing and the recruitment of additional stem cells to the area of the cell injection. The use of autologous cells is safer and more accessible in terms of immune resistance."

Biogencell's product is currently undergoing animal trials.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on November 29, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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