Following the Enlivex Deal, the HBL Group Continues to Apply its
Strategy of investing in the Portfolio’s Companies:
Hadasit Bio Invested $460,000 in Protab Company in order to Test the Antibody’s Efficiency in New Clinical Indications, Some of Which Could Be Indications for an Orphan Drug
In accordance with HBL’s strategy, the financing it put at Protab’s disposal may create the possibility of bringing in strategic investors in the future.
The National Institutes of Health in the US will carry out feasibility tests using the human antibody developed by Protab in mouse models of Behcet Disease
Tami Kfir, HBL’s CEO:
“Our investment plan is meant to help companies advance quickly towards achieving their clinical goals, and to enable them to sign investment and commercialization agreements with leading companies in the industry and influential investors.”
Israel, Jerusalem, September 22, 2014 – The publicly-traded company HBL (Hadasit Bio) (Tel Aviv: Hadasat, OTC: HADSY) continues to promote its investment strategy in the portfolio’s companies: The HBL Group, under the direction of CEO Tami Kfir, announced that it completed a $460,000 investment in Protab Company, in which HBL holds approximately 69.54% of the share capital (not fully diluted, 58.90% fully diluted).
As the Company reported, Protab signed an agreement with the NIH, the National Institutes of Health in the United States, to carry out feasibility tests using the human antibody that Protab developed in mouse models of Behcet Disease, a rare autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the blood vessels, and is in contact with another senior academic institution regarding cooperation on deciphering the antibody’s operating mechanism.
HBL’s investment in Protab matches the business strategy of the group, which specializes in identifying, improving and promoting companies, technologies and products based on intellectual property created in Hadassah Hospital, and leading companies from the R&D stage to the commercialization stage. The group has made it its goal to invest in a portfolio containing a variety of companies in the fields of medicine and biotechnology, as well as in companies at different stages of R&D that have great clinical and business potential, in order to help these companies accelerate their entrance into clinical trials and allow them to make deals to bring in strategic and business partners to invest in these companies. In this spirit, HBL reported that a group of investors led by Shai Novik will invest in the Enlivex Company from the HBL Group, in exchange for an investment of $7,000,000.
Protab is developing medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, as well as additional auto-immune diseases. The company has an innovative treatment approach based on the discoveries of Prof. Yaakov Naparstek of Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem regarding the regulation of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signals through the development of human antibodies. The company’s leading product is a human antibody, Prozomab that shifts the inflammatory process’ balance towards anti-inflammation. Protab owns patents and requests for patents in a number of countries throughout the world that protect the Prozomab’s various sequences and their use for treating auto-immune disease patients, in general, and patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, specifically.
Since Protab has completed the process of discovering Prozomab’s target protein, proven its feasibility in pre-clinical models of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases, and developed manufacturing procedures and toxicological experiments on rodents, Protab is now preparing for pre-clinical trials for three new clinical indications, for which the financing provided will be used. Some of these are indications for the development of an orphan drug (orphan drug indication) and some are indications in which there is a real need for new medications (unmet clinical needs), in order to determine the company’s leading indication for the continuation of Prozomab’s clinical development. In general, the orphan drug track will shorten the drug development timetable, allow the receipt of development grants, provide tax benefits and guaranty the company exclusive marketing rights after the receipt of an appropriate marketing authorization.
Tami Kfir, CEO of HBL, said today that “the HBL Group continues to consistently promote its strategic plan to significantly strengthen the portfolio’s companies, so that they can make progress in achieving their clinical goals, and sign investment and commercialization agreements with leading companies in the industry and influential investors. Upon the discovery of the antibody’s target protein, Protab’s antibody became ripe to enter clinical trials and new pre-clinical indications, some of which are indications for the development of an orphan drug, which is eliciting great interest in the United States’ capital market. There is a high probability that Protab’s leading indicator will be determined in the coming year. Based on this plan of action, we will continue to promote contacts for cooperation with an additional senior academic institution and will continue to act to widen the company’s investor base.”
Prof. Yaakov Naparstek, Protab’s Chief Scientist and Developer of the Technology, noted that “Protab’s treatment approach is based on the use of a “defender” antibody that shifts the inflammatory process’ balance towards anti-inflammation. This is a unique approach that uses a healthy organism’s natural mechanisms in order to defend against auto-immune inflammatory processes. This approach is different than the accepted use of antiobodies in inflammatory diseases that is based on antibodies produced for the purpose of neutralizing inflammation causes.”
Protab was incorporated in 2005 and is held by the HBL Group, the Pontifax Foundation and Clal Biotechnology Industries. The company’s development activity addresses a global market value of 6.6 billion dollars as of 2010 for drugs for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) alone.