Hadasit Bio-Holdings

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Hadasit Bio-Holdings Expands Activity to Diagnostic Markers for Cancer and Sets Up BioMarCare Technologies

Nov. 17, 2009

Jerusalem, Israel. November 17, 2009. Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Ltd. (HBL), today announced the establishment of a new subsidiary, BioMarCare Technologies, to bring together a set of technologies and intellectual property related to bio-markers for the early detection of various forms of cancer.

Bio-markers can identify malignant processes at an early stage. They can also facilitate tracking the progress of the treatment of individual patients, making their treatment more effective and reducing any side-effects. BioMarCare Technologies will focus on identifying and developing diagnostic methods and technologies for cancer, based on intellectual property that draws mainly on the work of researchers at the Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center.

The company is currently focusing on the development of a diagnostic kit for the early detection and monitoring of metastatic breast cancer. BioMarCare is working on a simple blood test that will make it possible to quantify the biomarker released into the bloodstream. Initial clinical findings that compared blood samples from cancer patients at various stages of the disease with samples from healthy persons showed that the biomarker is specific to cancer and can be of clinical benefit.

The company has received approval from the hospital’s Helsinki Committee and is currently conducting a clinical trial at the Sharett Institute of Oncology of the Hadassah–Hebrew University Medical Center in Ein Kerem on a large number of blood samples from women with breast cancer, with the goal of corroborating the initial findings and precisely determining the sensitivity and specificity of the simple blood test. To complete this trial, HBL is injecting 1.1 million sheqels into the new company. In addition, the company is gearing up to expand the clinical trial to other indications, such as cancer of the colon.

According to Ophir Shahaf, CEO of Hadasit Bio-Holdings, “start-up companies based on the development of a single biomarker invest significant resources in developing their clinical and business infrastructure. This is why we decided to set up BioMarCare, to leverage diagnostic technologies that have a common denominator in the field of cancer and support the development of several projects at the same time. Another advantage is that the development track of diagnostic tools and biomarkers is relatively short, compared to the pharmaceutical industry. This means that with focused and professional management we can move ahead to significant clinical results in the near future."

“Like Hadasit Bio-Holding’s other portfolio companies, BioMarCare Technologies is located in the new Bio-Park building on the grounds of the Hadassah - Hebrew University Hospital in Ein Kerem and takes advantage of Hadasit’s logistical and administrative infrastructure. Working out of the Medical Center offers clear advantages with regard to the ongoing contacts with the medical staff, the oncology community, and the extensive sample bank. This serves as a launch pad for planning and carrying out clinical trials and for assessing new projects that are ready for clinical development.”

The new company’s management team includes Dana Cohen, CEO, and Dr. Ouriel Faktor, vice-president for R&D. Both have extensive experience in the development of detection methods and bioassays for the diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancer, genetic markers, and radioisotopes for molecular imaging.

The company draws on the research and development services of the scientists at the Sharett Institute of Oncology. The Institute’s director, Prof. Tamar Peretz, a senior oncologist and opinion leader in the international oncology research community, serves the company as clinical director and will lead its clinical trials.

According to BioMarCare CEO Dana Cohen, “given the limited resources typically available to biotechnology start-ups, we believe that assembling a cluster of synergistic technologies can offer management, research, and commercial advantages. Our reliance on Hadassah Hospital’s expertise and infrastructure will enable us to leverage these resources and achieve rapid and proven clinical results that can serve as the basis for an agreement with a major player in the oncology diagnostics market.”

About Hadasit Bio-Holdings

Hadasit Bio-Holdings (TASE:HDST) was established by Hadasit (the technology transfer arm of the Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center) in 2005 to commercialize the knowledge and experience amassed by the hospital’s research laboratories. Hadasit Bio-Holdings is the parent of eight biotech companies, all of which have demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of their drugs in animal models and are waiting to begin clinical trials in humans. HBL firms are developing drugs with blockbuster potential (potential markets in the billions of dollars) in the areas of cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and tissue regeneration based on stem cells—fields in which the Hadassah Medical Center is a world leader. For more information, please visit our website: www.hbl.co.il.


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