R&D Collaboration Program- Israel-Australia

Background

The Company:
Kadimastem
Kadimastem is a clinical stage cell therapy company applying a unique technology platform for the development and production of off-the-shelf allogeneic cell products for the treatment of multiple diseases. One of the company’s main programs is focused on the production of insulin-producing islet cells intended for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes.

The Foreign Partner:
AFDR

The Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research (AFDR) together with its licensee Sydney Cell Therapy Foundation Pty Limited (SCTF).

AFDR is an organization dedicated to promoting treatment for diabetes in Australia. AFDR researchers have developed a unique encapsulation device made of a bio-compatible polymer that enables the implantation of insulin-producing islet cells while providing protection from the immune system.

Successful Innovation

The safe and efficient delivery of a therapeutic dose of healthy functioning islet cells is a major challenge for the development of a bio-artificial pancreas for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. This collaboration is showing that it is possible.

Proof of concept studies have demonstrated that the islet cells produced by Kadimastem are capable of treating diabetes in animal models. AFDR has shown that its device has been successful in integrating, protecting, and maintaining the function of islet cells in mice.

The companies were introduced at a scientific meeting. The support of the IIA and NSW government accelerated the performance of collaborative studies between the parties.
Using IIA funds, a method was developed enabling the global delivery of Kadimastem islet cells, thus expanding the possibilities for this and other international collaborations. In addition, unique equipment was purchased by the parties to support joint in vitro and in vivo studies. Both have led to ongoing experiments demonstrating successful integration of Kadimastem’s islet cells in the AFDR device, which has shown to provide a compatible environment for the long-term function of the islet cells, as manifested by physiological human insulin secretion.

"We would like to thank the Israel Innovation Authority for believing in the Kadimastem/ADFR initiative and its support to help make this collaboration a success. Finding a cure for the millions who live with diabetes worldwide is of great importance. We are well on the way, in concert with our partners and with the crucial backing of the IIA."
Rami Epstein, Kadimastem, CEO