MONROVIA, Calif. — Cell Care Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company whose mission is to advance stem-cell derived therapies in ophthalmology, today announced the closing of a $4.3 million seed round investment from a syndicate of individual investors. This round of funding will be used to develop Cell Care’s manufacturing platform and to advance its lead preclinical-stage drug candidate for major eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy (DR) and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), two of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in the developed world.
Cell Care is pioneering the development of regenerative immunotherapy—a new therapeutic approach that has the potential to modulate the immune response in a way that leads to reduced inflammation, permits recovery, and promotes tissue remodeling. This therapy is derived from components that mesenchymal stem cells secrete, also known as their “secretome.” The secretome contains anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative molecules that are anticipated to reverse and resolve inflammatory processes while stimulating tissue regeneration.
“The closing of this first round of financing is an endorsement of our novel approach of using stem cell secretions to modulate the immune system as an alternative to the more commercially challenging approach of using living cells to repair damaged tissue,” said Nicolas Sohl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cell Care. “The ophthalmic community is embracing the theory that the treatment of complex degenerative diseases within the eye may require a broader set of signaling molecules that cannot be recapitulated by any single small molecule, RNA, or recombinant protein.”
“There remains an unmet medical need for patients suffering from retinal diseases. Many patients receive anti-VEGF therapies to treat symptoms, such as swelling from leaking blood vessels, without directly treating underlying inflammation or fibrosis,” said Baruch D. Kuppermann, MD, PhD, director of UCI’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. “Cell Care’s innovative approach to applying regenerative immunotherapy to treat these challenging diseases potentially could provide an unique alternative to current therapies.”
About Cell Care Therapeutics
Cell Care Therapeutics is a Los Angeles based preclinical stage company developing regenerative immunotherapies. This new class of biologics is derived from the secretions of adult stem cells and is comprised of a complex mixture of naturally therapeutic components including proteins, exosomes, and microRNAs. Cell Care has formed a strong team of internal scientists, world class advisors, and manufacturing experts to advance this technology into the clinic. This team has established scalable manufacturing approaches for production of the secretome product and has made great progress in developing the secretome as a platform technology. The company is currently developing this technology to treat severe inflammatory and degenerative eye diseases that may lead to vision loss.
It is increasingly recognized that the predominant therapeutic qualities of adult stem cells come from the secretome, rather than from the cells themselves. Thus, the secretome may be employed to harness the healing properties of stem cells rather than using the cells themselves as the therapy. Cell Care’s off-the-shelf secretome product is an improvement from first-generation living stem cell transplant approaches that can be costly to patients, difficult to dose, routinely lose viability during shipping and after transplantation, can migrate away from the injection site, and are not available off-the-shelf.
Cell Care’s technology will allow for the treatment of many degenerative diseases to reduce inflammation, permit recovery, and promote regeneration. The company’s next-generation regenerative therapy will broaden the clinical applicability of regenerative medicine and expand patient access to these new treatment approaches. For more information, please visit www.cell-care.com.