Guildford, UK, 11 March 2013: ReNeuron is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two separate grants, totalling £1.2 million, from the UK Biomedical Catalyst to pursue further development of two of its core stem cell therapy candidates.
The Biomedical Catalyst is a programme of public funding jointly managed by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency and the Medical Research Council. The scheme is designed to deliver effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK, enabling businesses and academics to speed-up the translation of scientific ideas into commercial propositions.
The awards to ReNeuron are among a number of awards made under the latest round of the Biomedical Catalyst announced today and highlighted by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, at the launch of this week’s Innovate UK conference. The awards also coincide with a report on the Biomedical Catalyst published today by the Bioindustry Association, the trade body for the UK’s bioscience industry, highlighting the positive impact that the scheme has had on the UK bioscience industry in its first year by leveraging private finance into the sector and accelerating medical research.
The first award to ReNeuron of £0.4 million is a Late Stage Biomedical Catalyst grant and relates to the Company’s ReN009 stem cell therapy candidate for critical limb ischaemia. The award will be deployed towards the funding of a UK Phase I clinical trial in limb ischemia patients. The Company will provide a further update on progress with this programme shortly.
The second award of £0.8 million is an Early Stage Biomedical Catalyst grant and relates to the Company’s ReN003 stem cell candidate for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The award will fund the UK-based late pre-clinical development of this programme through to the clinic. This work is being undertaken in collaboration with the world-renowned UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and complements the Company’s existing long-standing collaboration on this programme with the US-based Schepens Eye Research Institute.
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in winning the two grants we applied for in the current round of the Biomedical Catalyst funding competition. This highly competitive scheme involves a rigorous peer review of applicants’ technologies and commercial development plans. In common with other awardees, we therefore regard the grants as representing a strong independent endorsement of ReNeuron’s world-class stem cell development capabilities which we hope will eventually lead to the wide-scale treatment of disease conditions where there is currently a very large unmet medical need.”
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Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer
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Mark Court, Fiona Henson, Sophie Cowles
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About the Biomedical Catalyst
The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. The programme is open to UK academics and SMEs and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area. For further information please visit: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/biomedical-catalyst.ashx.
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
ReNeuron is a leading, clinical-stage stem cell business. Its primary objective is the development of novel stem cell therapies targeting areas of significant unmet or poorly met medical need.
ReNeuron has used its unique stem cell technologies to develop cell-based therapies for significant disease conditions where the cells can be readily administered “off-the-shelf” to any eligible patient without the need for additional immunosuppressive drug treatments. ReNeuron’s lead candidate is its ReN001 stem cell therapy for the treatment of patients left disabled by the effects of a stroke. This therapy is currently in clinical development. The Company is also developing stem cell therapies for other conditions such as critical limb ischaemia, a serious and common side-effect of diabetes, and blindness-causing diseases of the retina such as retinitis pigmentosa.
ReNeuron has also developed a range of stem cell lines for non-therapeutic applications – its ReNcell® products for use in academic and commercial research. The Company’s ReNcell®CX and ReNcell®VM neural cell lines are marketed worldwide under license by USA-based Merck Millipore.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L. Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance of ReNeuron and certain of the plans and objectives of management of ReNeuron with respect thereto. These statements may generally, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as “should”, “expects”, “estimates”, “believes” or similar expressions. This announcement also contains forward-looking statements attributed to certain third parties relating to their estimates regarding the growth of markets and demand for products. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they reflect ReNeuron’s current expectations and assumptions as to future events and circumstances that may not prove accurate. A number of factors could cause ReNeuron’s actual financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance to differ materially from the estimates made or implied in such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, reliance should not be placed on such statements.