Wednesday, January 10, 2018

California Pumping $19 Million More into Stem Cell Effort to Improve Kidney Transplant Success

The California stem cell agency is set to make a nearly $19 million bet next week on a treatment that is aimed at significantly improving the success of  kidney transplants and helping to reduce healthcare costs.

The agency's board is expected to ratify a decision to award $18.8 million to Medeor Therapeutics, Inc.,  of San Mateo, Ca., for a phase 3 clinical trial, the last stage before its proposed product can be widely used.

Next week's award will bring to $25.4 million that the state has invested in the work. The agency awarded $6.7 million for the research in 2016.

The company's chief medical officer, D. Scott Batty, Jr.,  said last spring that its product, dubbed MDR-101, "has the potential to address the two most critical transplant patient needs: preventing organ rejection and mitigating anti-rejection treatment-associated toxicities. " He added that the technology could potentially be used in all solid organ transplant patients.

Fierce Biotech reporter Phil Taylor wrote last April,
"Patients who undergo organ transplants may no longer have to rely on lifelong immune-suppressing drugs, if Medeor Therapeutics has its way."
Taylor continued,
"More than 30,000 Americans get an organ transplant every year, and while success rates for these procedures are improving, it is estimated that up to a third of the most common transplants—such as heart, kidney, and liver—fail within 5 years."
The Medeor treatment uses adult stem cells to create a condition in which the transplanted kidney "is no longer viewed as foreign by the recipient," according a summary of the closed-door review of the company's application (CLIN2-10411). 

The agency's reviewers, who do not have to publicly disclose if they have  potential conflicts of interest, voted 11-1 to fund the research. The agency's board almost never overturns the decisions of its reviewers, who come from out-of-state. The names of persons reviewing specific applications are not disclosed by the agency, which also does not disclose the name of applicants until after board action. The California Stem Cell Report identified the firm from public records.

Samuel Strober, Stanford photo
Last November, Medeor announced it had raised $57 million in Series B financing, "led by RA Capital Management. Additional new investors included Sofinnova Ventures and 6 Dimensions Capital, who were joined by existing investors Vivo Capital and WuXi Healthcare Ventures."

The scientific founder of the firm is Samuel Strober, a professor of medicine at Stanford and who is a member of its scientific advisory board. 

The estimated date of completion of the trial is January 2022, according to The governing board of the $3 billion stem cell agency is scheduled to meet Jan. 18 to approve the award. No other action is scheduled. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment