BioTime has been awarded a new grant for 2017 of up to 7.2 million Israeli New Shekels (approximately $2 million) from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) to fund the continued development of OpRegen. To date, the IIA has provided annual grants totaling approximately $12 million.
OpRegen is currently in a phase 1/2a dose-optimization clinical study, which in July 2017 received authorization from the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to move forward with enrollment of cohort 3. In cohort 3, BioTime plans to treat patients at sites in Israel and the U.S. Data reported to date have shown continued engraftment through the 1 year follow-up with encouraging potential structural improvement. In addition, no serious adverse events have been reported, indicating a continued favorable safety profile. BioTime expects to share more data at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) later this year.
“This new grant demonstrates the continued high level of support and confidence that the Israel Innovation Authority has in our development of cell therapy-based treatments,” Adi Mohanty, Co-Chief Executive Officer of BioTime, said in a company news release.
As noted above, the grant was awarded by the IIA for the development of OpRegen to Cell Cure Neurosciences, a majority-owned subsidiary of BioTime.