In 1999, world-renowned scientists at the Technion (Haifa, Israel), Dr. Yair
Feld, Prof. Lior Gepstein and Prof. Shimon Marom, began developing
a cell therapy technology for neurological disorders and cardiac
After four years of academic research, the Office of the Chief Scientist,
ProSeed Venture Capital, Shalom Equity, Vertex Venture Capital,
Vitalife and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation spun out
the technology platform and formed GeneGrafts in seed financing.
GeneGrafts is focusing on an innovative treatment for advanced
Parkinson’s disease patients.
Long-term drug treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is frequently
associated with motor fluctuation. The most effective treatment
for advanced PD patients is deep brain stimulation (DBS). However,
DBS is associated with cognitive changes in up to 41% of
patients and is not effective over the age of 70.GeneGrafts is
developing a treatment for advanced PD by transplantation of
dermal fibroblasts from the patient’s own body to the basal ganglia
nucleus - GPi. The fibroblasts integrate with the tissue and form
structural and electrophysiological changes that are associated with
de-synchronization of the target nucleus, which is pathologically
GeneGrafts has demonstrated the efficacy of this approach in multiple
long-term studies (up to 12 months) on Parkinsonian rats.
GeneGrafts is currently conducting a GLP study on Parkinsonian nonhuman
primates at the University of Illinois in Chicago to evaluate the
safety and efficacy of the technology before moving forward to phase
I/II clinical trials.
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