Bone Therapeutics Awarded EUR 3 million in Funding to Support New Research Projects
Walloon Government to fund further research into the preservation, properties and mechanism-of-action of Bone Therapeutics’ bone-forming cells
Gosselies, Belgium, 30 November 2015 - BONE THERAPEUTICS (Euronext Brussels and Paris: BOTHE), the bone cell therapy company addressing high unmet medical needs in the field of bone fracture repair and bone fracture prevention, today announces it has been granted EUR 3 million in non-dilutive funding from the Walloon Region in Belgium through new forgivable loans1 to support preclinical research programs.
The funding will cover up to 55% of expenses related to three research projects2 that have been designed to further investigate the preservation, properties and mechanism-of-action of Bone Therapeutics’ osteoblastic cells over a two-year period.
This preclinical research will enable Bone Therapeutics to broaden its understanding of the mechanisms and the properties of its bone-forming (osteoblastic) cells. This should enable the Company to explore additional indications and administration routes, and allow the further optimization its production processes.
The first project will further investigate the technique to cryopreserve Bone Therapeutics’ allogeneic (originating from a healthy donor) bone cell product, ALLOB®. Optimization of this process should allow the Company to increase production yields and simplify logistics, potentially supporting ongoing clinical studies.
The second project will study the adhesion and migration of the allogeneic bone-forming cells in response to different factors, a process called chemotaxis. Proteins on the surface of the cells that are involved in the process will be investigated, and the information gathered should provide additional insight into the characteristics of the osteoblasts and their behavior in the body after administration.
The third project is dedicated to the development of a technique for the purpose of selecting bone marrow samples, donated by healthy volunteers, with the most appropriate characteristics for the production of the Company’s allogeneic bone cell products, based on proteins expressed by the cells. Preselection of bone marrow samples could enhance the current production process by avoiding the risk of utilizing bone marrow cells that might result in products with lower yield or not completely fulfilling the criteria.
Enrico Bastianelli, CEO of Bone Therapeutics commented: "These new funds will help finance important preclinical research that will deepen our understanding of the properties of our osteoblastic cells, optimize our production processes and continue the development of our bone cell products. We are grateful for the continued support of the Walloon Region."
1. The forgivable loans are granted to support specific research and development programs. These loans become refundable under certain conditions, including the fact that the Group decides to exploit the R&D results of the project. In such case, part of the loan (typically 30%) becomes refundable based upon an agreed repayment schedule, whereas the remaining part (typically 70%) only becomes refundable to the extent revenue is generated within 10 years after the date at which the exploitation has been decided. Accordingly, if no revenue is generated within that period of 10 years, any non-refunded part of the loan is forgiven.
2. Two out of the three grants have been attributed to SCTS (Skeletal Cell Therapy Support), an affiliate of Bone Therapeutics dedicated to provide infrastructure, logistics and manufacturing services in the field of bone cell therapy.