BioTime, Inc. and Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby BioTime will acquire all of the remaining outstanding common stock of Asterias that are not currently owned by BioTime. Asterias stockholders will receive 0.71 shares of BioTime common shares for every share of Asterias common stock and will own approximately 16.2% of the combined company. Subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the respective shareholders of BioTime and Asterias, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
OPC1 Innovative Phase 2 Program for the Treatment of Severe Spinal Cord Injury
OPC1 is a cellular therapy utilizing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), which in preclinical testing has demonstrated potentially reparative functions that address the complex pathologies observed in demyelination disorders such as spinal cord injury and multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including multiple sclerosis and white matter stroke. The potential reparative functions of OPC1 include the production of neurotrophic factors, the stimulation of vascularization, and the induction of remyelination of denuded axons, all of which are critical for survival, regrowth, and conduction of nerve impulses through axons at the injury site.
Asterias is currently completing a Phase 1/2a clinical trial (the SCiStar Study) for severe spinal cord injury where there currently are no approved therapies.
An independent data review meeting was held recently to discuss the latest results from the SCiStar Study and positive feedback was received from the outside medical and scientific experts on the panel.
The SCiStar Study has been partially funded by a $14.3 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and there is the potential to obtain additional non-dilutive funding in 2019 to partially offset the cost of OPC1's next phase of clinical development.
VAC2 Phase 1 Program for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Partnered with Cancer Research UK
VAC2 is a non-patient-specific, or allogeneic, cancer immunotherapy candidate. VAC2...