Orgenesis acquires cell therapy manufacturer MaSTherCell

Published: 13-Mar-2015

Acquisition to accelerate type 1 diabetes therapeutic into clinical trials and diversify future business model and product offering

Orgenesis, a leader in the emerging fields of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, is to increase its global presence and capabilities by acquiring MaSTherCell, an emerging pioneer in the industrialisation of cell-based therapeutics, based in Gosselies, Belgium.

‘The acquisition of MaSTherCell creates incremental value for both companies in business-critical ways,’ said Vered Caplan, chairman and CEO of Orgenesis. 'First, it allows us to accelerate the transition of our lead product, Autologous Insulin Producing Cells (AIPCs) being developed as a therapeutic for type 1 diabetes, from preclinical testing into clinical trials. Second, the acquisition will also allow us to diversify our business model and future product offering.

‘We are creating a vertically integrated company that will deliver more end-user value and generate a stronger financial position for our overall business. Both businesses will remain operationally independent, but will become strategically aligned in ways that maximise technical, financial and management synergies.

‘As a result of the acquisition, Orgenesis benefits from deeper involvement in the manufacturing process and resulting cost of goods efficiencies, whereas MaSTherCell benefits by expanding its international presence and by gaining access to public markets and financing for further technology-based investment.’

Orgenesis is an innovator in ‘cellular trans-differentiation,’ which involves reprogramming one adult cell type to function like an adult cell of a different type. In the case of AIPCs, the company is transforming a type 1 diabetic patient's own liver cells into insulin-producing ones.

‘Cell therapy developments have gained strategic significance in recent years — particularly in the areas of regenerative medicine, ex vivo gene therapy and cancer immunotherapy,’ said Hugues Bultot, CEO of MaSTherCell. ‘Research and scientific development in these sectors has seen rapid progress and because of our ability to innovate, our industrialisation and manufacturing expertise has not only kept pace with, but has actually led in terms of the ability of our technology to meet the needs of rapidly evolving science.

‘Moving forward with Orgenesis, we will continue to provide for our current clients the same unique services but with a larger geographic reach. By combing our organisations, we will be able to more quickly capitalise on our desire to expand our cell-based therapeutic contract development and manufacturing services internationally. And, importantly, having access to public markets will enhance our ability to invest in the continued evolution of our technology and capabilities.’

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