$14.3 Million Strategic Partnership Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (“Asterias”), a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX), today announced that it has been awarded a $14.3 million Strategic Partnership III grant entitled “A Phase 1/2a Dose Escalation Study of AST-OPC1 in Patients with Cervical Sensorimotor Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury” from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (“CIRM”). The award provides funding for Asterias to reinitiate clinical development of AST-OPC1 in subjects with spinal cord injury and to expand clinical testing of escalating doses in the target population intended for future pivotal trials….
The Strategic Partnership III grant from CIRM will provide funding to Asterias to support the next clinical trial of AST-OPC1 in subjects with spinal cord injury, and for Asterias’ product development efforts to refine and scale manufacturing methods to support later-stage trials and eventually commercialization. CIRM funding will be conditional on FDA approval for the trial, completion of a definitive agreement between Asterias and CIRM, and Asterias’ continued progress toward the achievement of certain pre-defined project milestones….
“We are preparing to initiate the dose escalation Phase 1/2a clinical trial of AST-OPC1 in patients with cervical injuries in 6-9 months subject to FDA clearance,” stated Edward Wirth III M.D., Ph.D., Asterias’ Chief Translational Officer. “Achievements in this CIRM-supported program could also help accelerate further development of AST-OPC1 in other neurodegenerative diseases such as stroke and multiple sclerosis. We are currently evaluating the function of AST-OPC1 in nonclinical models of these diseases.”