Pharma Focus Asia

Catalent and BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Announce Partnership for the Manufacture of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Platform Therapy NurOwn®

Friday, October 23, 2020

Catalent, the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, and BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of cellular therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced an agreement for the manufacture of NurOwn®, BrainStorm’s autologous cellular therapy being investigated for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neuron disease.

NurOwn induces mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to secrete high levels of neurotrophic factors (NTFs) known to promote the survival of neurons and neuroprotection. The therapy has received Fast Track status from the U.S. FDA for ALS and has also been granted Orphan Drug Status for ALS by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency. BrainStorm is currently completing a 200-patient, double-blind, placebo-controlled, repeat-dosing NurOwn Phase 3 study in the U.S.

As part of its commitment, Catalent will undertake the transfer of the manufacturing process to, and provide future CGMP clinical supply of NurOwn from, its new, 32,000 square-foot cell therapy manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. On completion of the clinical trials and in anticipation of potential approval of NurOwn, the companies will look to extend the partnership to include commercial supply from the Houston facility.

“We are proud to have a partner in Catalent whose excellence in manufacturing quality therapies will support commercial supply of NurOwn,” said Chaim Lebovits, Chief Executive Officer of BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. “We know that ALS patients are in urgent need of a new treatment option. If NurOwn is successful in the current clinical trials, this agreement will be integral to ensuring rapid access for patients.”

Manja Boerman, Ph.D., President, Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy, said, “Our experience in cell therapy development, and the manufacturing capabilities that our newly constructed, state-of-the-art facility in Houston offers, position us to best support BrainStorm, with its leading therapeutic candidate for ALS treatment. We look forward to partnering with BrainStorm and providing our stem cell manufacturing expertise as we work to optimize production and streamline the product’s path towards commercial launch.”

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