BioTime has been awarded a new grant for 2018 of up to 6.9 million Israeli New Shekels (approximately $1.9 million) from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). The grant provides funding for the continued development of OpRegen, and to date the IIA has provided annual grants totaling over $13 million.
OpRegen is currently in a phase 1/2a clinical study, which in March 2018 received authorization from the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to move forward with enrollment of cohort 4. The DSMB approval was based on the safety observed throughout the first three cohorts. Safety will remain the primary focus of cohort 4. The fourth cohort will include better vision patients than the previous three cohorts. These better vision patients will likely be in earlier stages of the disease and allow for a wide range of preliminary functional assessment measurements. These earlier stage patients will likely be the target patient population for this therapy and BioTime expects to share initial data from cohort 4 in the coming months.
“The IIA’s continued support is encouraging and shows their commitment and confidence in our ability to continue the development of OpRegen, our lead cell replacement program,” said Adi Mohanty, co-Chief Executive Officer of BioTime.