Medgenics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MDGN and AIM: MEDU, MEDG), the developer of the novel Biopump™ technology for the sustained production and delivery of therapeutic proteins in patients using their own tissue, announced today it has initiated its first U.S. Biopump processing facility in Davis, California. EPODURE™ Biopumps for the treatment of anemia are now being processed by the Company’s contract manufacturing organization (“CMO”) in a good manufacturing practice (“GMP”) certified facility. This marks the first Biopump processing site outside of Israel, and provides Medgenics with a significant ability to scale-up its clinical and commercial capabilities to address global therapeutic areas such as anemia and hemophilia. In a key “dry run” test of the production system, tissue micro-organs were obtained and loaded into individual closed processing chambers in Israel, and then shipped to the U.S. CMO Biopump processing center in California. There, the micro-organs were processed in their closed systems into fully functioning EPODURE Biopumps, meeting the release criteria for use in human clinical trials in the U.S. This demonstrates Medgenics’ capability to support the treatment of patients at remote clinical sites, transporting their Biopumps to and from strategically located processing facilities, thereby allowing for multicenter clinical trials and practical commercial implementation. Medgenics recently announced that it had received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for its Investigational New Drug (“IND”) application to conduct a Phase IIb study of EPODURE for the treatment of anemia in dialysis patients in the U.S. “The launch of this U.S. processing facility is another important step for advancing our U.S. clinical trials and product commercialization. The initial processing of Biopumps in the GMP facility of our U.S. CMO resulted in product that meets all quality requirements for use in human clinical trials. We plan to continue with processing additional lots of product to ensure consistency and reliability before the U.S. clinical trial commences,” stated Andrew L. Pearlman, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Medgenics. “Importantly, this U.S. GMP processing center has been launched through an existing facility, which is much less capital intensive and simpler to establish than typical protein production facilities. As Medgenics grows and expands, we believe that similar Biopump processing facilities can be easily set up in other sites around the world.”
About MedgenicsMedgenics is developing and commercializing Biopump™, a proprietary tissue-based platform technology for the sustained production and delivery of therapeutic proteins using the patient's own dermal skin biopsy for the treatment of a range of chronic diseases including anemia, hepatitis and hemophilia, among others. Medgenics believes this approach has multiple benefits compared with current treatments, which include regular and costly injections of therapeutic proteins. Medgenics has three long-acting protein therapy products in development based on this technology:
- EPODURE™ to produce and deliver erythropoietin for many months from a single administration, has demonstrated elevation and stabilization of hemoglobin levels in anemic patients for six to more than 36 months in a Phase I/II dose-ranging trial, and has received approval of a Phase IIa trial in dialysis patients due to launch in Q2 2012 in Israel. An Investigational New Drug application has been cleared by the FDA to initiate a Phase IIb study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of EPODURE in the treatment of anemia in dialysis patients in the U.S.
- INFRADURE™ for sustained production and delivery of interferon-alpha for use in the treatment of hepatitis is awaiting final approval of two Phase I/II trials in Israel in hepatitis C, slated to commence in Q3 2012, and is filed for Orphan Drug Designation with the FDA to treat hepatitis D.
- HEMODURE™ for sustained production and delivery of clotting Factor VIII therapy for the sustained prophylactic treatment of hemophilia is now in development.
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