Cell Medica receives second grant for development of adenovirus infection therapy

Cell Medica, a clinical stage cellular therapeutics company engaged in the development and delivery of cellular immunotherapy treatment strategies for infectious disease and cancer, has announced that is has appointed four key staff to drive forwards the Company’s activities in the commercialisation of cell therapy treatments. The appointments will enable the Company to achieve scale up of its cell manufacturing operations, increase its clinical development capabilities and create a US presence with the appointment of a Head of US Operations.

The new members of the management team include:

Dr Rainer Knaus, Senior Vice President - Rainer has over ten years experience in the GMP manufacturing of cell therapies and managed the commercial launch of the first stem cell product in Germany. Rainer is overseeing European activities including manufacturing, product development and regulatory requirements.

Mike Ramsay, Head of US Operations - Mike joins Cell Medica from his position as Senior Vice President of Operations at Cell Genesys. Mike has over 20 years experience in the US biotech industry and is leading the Company’s US business activities. Mike will establish the US business infrastructure which includes R&D partnerships with leading academic research institutions.

Karen Hodgkin, Head of Clinical Development – Karen has 25 years experience in clinical trials management across a range of therapeutic areas. Karen is managing the Company’s confirmatory clinical trial currently running across 14 major hospitals in the UK.

Tina Crombie, Head of Business Administration – Tina’s experience in IP management, project management and business administration includes previous positions in academic, public and commercial science-based organizations.

To fund these developments and its business towards commercialisation, Cell Medica has recently secured an additional $5.4 million in equity investment and grant funding. The new equity totalled US$ 3.2m with Imperial Innovations as the lead investor in combination with private investors. Grant funding of US$ 2.2m has also been won through awards from the UK Technology Strategy Board. Cell Medica led the collaborative bid under the High Value Manufacturing program, in conjunction with University College London and eXmoor Pharma Concepts Ltd. The research project is aimed at designing and validating a new state-of-the-art manufacturing system which will significantly reduce the unit cost of producing individualised cell therapies. The Company received a second grant from the Technology Strategy Board to support the development of a novel therapy to treat life-threatening adenovirus infections in children following bone marrow transplants, and is planning a clinical trial to test this new therapeutic approach during 2010.

Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica, commented: “We are pleased to have assembled a highly competent team of professionals who are executing the cell therapy development program with great commitment. Together with the investment capital and grant funding we have secured in 2009, we hope to begin marketing our lead cell therapy product in 2010 and to continue development of additional applications. We want to see the unique benefits of these innovative treatment techniques reaching patients as soon as possible.”

Source Cell Medica

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