Cell2B, a biotechnology-based start-up founded by students from the MIT Portugal Program, is the 2011 winner of BES National Innovation Contest at Health Technology and Biotechnology track. Cell2B received the award for their project ImmuneSafe, the first product that Cell2B intends to launch to the market.
“ImmuneSafe is a cell therapy designed for patients who have shown signs of rejection after bone marrow transplantation and allows the modeling of the immune system in cases of acute rejection” explains David Malta, CEO of Cell2B.
So far the ImmuneSafe therapy has been successfully administered to seven patients at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology Francisco Gentil (IPO). David adds that “First we intend to validate the treatment of therapy-resistant severe acute graft-versus-host disease, that affects patients after a bone marrow transplant and, in severe cases, can to the patient’s death”.
The next step for Cell2B is to conduct a clinical trial in Europe, paving the way for commercialization. After the initial proof of concept it is now necessary to conduct a clinical trial to demonstrate efficacy and ultimately to achieve the marketing approval by regulatory agencies (INFARMED in Portugal and EMA in Europe). “Right now we are preparing this study with the regulators, we want to start by the end of next year,” said the CEO.
The prestigious award associate with its monetary value of 60.000 Euros is of great importance for the young start up: “Winning the ‘BES Inovação’ track a recognition stamp of the value for our project. For us, its promoters, is an additional motivation to continue our journey”.
The young company is aiming for a final off-the-shelf product that can be applied to several immune and inflammatory related diseases.