Orgenesis Announces Collaboration with Ben-Gurion University to Develop and Commercialize a Novel Scaffold Technology for Cell Transplantation

GERMANTOWN, Md. and BEER-SHEVA, Israel, Aug. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orgenesis Inc. (NASDAQ: ORGS), a manufacturer, service provider and developer of advanced cell therapies, along with BGN Technologies and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN), both affiliates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), today announced a collaboration to develop and commercialize a novel alginate scaffold technology for cell transplantation, with an initial focus on autoimmune diseases. The technology was invented and developed by Prof. Smadar Cohen, The Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell (RMSC) Research Center and Department of Biotechnology Engineering, BGU and Prof. Alon Monsonego, Faculty of Health Sciences and NIBN, BGU. Under the license agreement, Orgenesis will receive the exclusive, worldwide right to make, develop and commercialize products utilizing the novel scaffold technology, subject to achieving certain milestones.

Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, commented, “We are proud to partner with leading scientists at Ben-Gurion University, who developed a breakthrough platform for cell transplantation, providing an ideal immunoregulatory environment within a highly vascularized macroporous alginate scaffold.  We believe that this advanced scaffold technology offers a number of promising advantages including improved immunomodulation, a 3D cell configuration designed to enhance the target cell performance, and a highly vascularized scaffold structure to enhance oxygen delivery to the target cells. Initial in-vitro and in-vivo testing have been positive, and we are excited about the potential of this technology to enhance a wide range of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies.”

Dr. Ora Horovitz, Senior VP for Business Development at BGN Technologies, commented: “We are excited to partner with Orgenesis, a leader and pioneer in the field of cell therapy.  By combining our scaffold technology with a number of the unique cell therapies Orgenesis is developing, along with other co-development partners of Orgenesis, we believe our technology can facilitate immune tolerance and improve cell performance after implantation, thereby potentially improving clinical outcomes.  Moreover, we believe that Orgenesis has developed a highly scalable and cost-effective platform for commercialization of new cell therapies, including clinical development, cell manufacturing, and logistics, which could potentially help accelerate the path to market for these breakthrough technologies.”

About BGN Technologies
BGN Technologies is the technology company of Ben-Gurion University, Israel. BGN Technologies brings technological innovations from the lab to the market and fosters research collaborations and entrepreneurship among researchers and students. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, hi-tech, and cleantech as well as initiated leading technology hubs, incubators, and accelerators. Over the past decade, BGN Technologies has focused on creating long-term partnerships with multinational corporations securing value and growth for Ben-Gurion University as well as the Negev region. For more information, visit the BGN Technologies website.

About NIBN
The NIBN, a unique research institute located within BGU, is the first self-organized, independent research entity established as a company under the auspices of a University in Israel. The missions of the NIBN are to A) Conduct, encourage and fund cutting-edge, innovative and creative discovery-driven research, B) “Bridge the gap” between basic and applied biotechnological research aiming to facilitate preclinical development acceleration, C) Pursue the commercialization of the novel ideas, technologies and IP developed by NIBN researchers, and D) Create a crosstalk between the NIBN and the Bio Industry to maximize the potential of exchanging ideas and technologies, and research collaborations between the two entities.  For more information, visit NIBN website.

About Ben-Gurion University
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is one of Israel’s leading research universities and among the world leaders in many fields. Through its technology transfer company, BGN Technologies, which is also responsible for the University’s patent portfolio, the University initiates, leads and implements projects with institutions, companies and foundations world-wide, and attracts strategic partners and investors in the fields of science, technology and industry, including homeland security; bioinformatics; robotics, energy and fuels; ergonomics; cyber security; nanotechnology; water resources; ecology and environment, human genetics; epidemiology; stem cells; diabetes; cancer; advanced drugs; biotechnology and agricultural technology; information technology and communications; environmental water treatment; and alternative energy sources.

About Orgenesis
Orgenesis is a vertically-integrated biopharmaceutical company with expertise and unique experience in cell therapy development and support services.  Through its Israeli subsidiary, Orgenesis Ltd., Orgenesis is developing technology designed to successfully reprogram human liver cells into glucose-responsive, fully functional, Insulin Producing Cells (IPCs).  Orgenesis believes that converting the diabetic patient's own tissue into insulin-producing cells has the potential to overcome the significant issues of donor shortage, cost and exposure to chronic immunosuppressive therapy associated with islet cell transplantation.  Through its Masthercell Global subsidiary, a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), Orgenesis is able to deliver optimized process industrialization capacities to cell therapy organizations and speed up the arrival of their therapies onto the market.  From technology selection to business modeling, GMP manufacturing, process development, and quality management, Masthercell’s teams are fully committed to helping their clients fulfill their objective of providing sustainable and affordable therapies to their patients.  Masthercell operates in a validated and flexible facility located in the strategic center of Europe within the Walloon healthcare cluster, Biowin. This integrated approach supports the Company's business philosophy of bringing to market significant life-improving medical treatments.  For more information, visit www.orgenesis.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These forward-looking statements involve substantial uncertainties and risks and are based upon our current expectations, estimates and projections and reflect our beliefs and assumptions based upon information available to us at the date of this release.  We caution readers that forward-looking statements are predictions based on our current expectations about future events.  These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict.  Our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the success of our reorganized CDMO operations, the success of our partnership with Great Point, our ability to achieve and maintain overall profitability, the sufficiency of working capital to realize our business plans, the development of our transdifferentiation technology as therapeutic treatment for diabetes which could, if successful, be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes; our technology not functioning as expected; our ability to retain key employees; our ability to satisfy the rigorous regulatory requirements for new procedures; our competitors developing better or cheaper alternatives to our products and the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "RISK FACTORS" in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason.

Contact for Orgenesis:
David Waldman
Crescendo Communications, LLC
Tel: 212-671-1021
Orgs@crescendo-ir.com

Contact for BGU:
Tsipi Haitovsky
Global Media Liaison
BGN Technologies
Tel: +972-52-5989-892
Tsipihai5@gmail.com 

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Source: Orgenesis Inc.