From the Wires
Stem Cell Media Interview With Dr. Adrian Harel: Fighting to End ALS, Once and for All
By: Marketwired .
Dec. 4, 2012 11:43 AM
NEW YORK, NY and PETACH TIKVAH, ISRAEL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/04/12 -- Sai Rosen of www.InvestorStemCell.com (Stem Cell Media, LLC) recently sat down with Dr. Adrian Harel, Chief Executive Officer for Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQB: BCLI). Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is a biotechnology company developing autologous stem cell therapies for highly debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig's disease), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) and Spinal Cord Injury. These diseases have limited treatment options and as such represent unmet medical needs.
Dr. Harel has over 30 years' experience in international business development, marketing, clinical development, fund raising and building strategic partnerships. In January 2011, he came to Brainstorm and leveraged all his experience to transform the company from a struggling pre-clinical biotech to the world's leader in clinical stage neurodegenerative treatment for ALS. The company is nearing submission of an ALS Phase II, to be conducted at the renowned Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
During his interview, Dr. Harel shared the following information:
Why are you interested in neurodegenerative disorders?
Dr. Harel: "I became fascinated in this area of research while working at Proneuron Biotechnologies. We had created the 'world center' for paralysis. I had the pleasure to work with Christopher Reeve and other clinical leaders. We pioneered these early stage cellular treatments and I was pleased to have played a significant role in regulatory and managing endeavors across multiple channels both internal and external."
What brought you to Brainstorm?
Dr. Harel: "I have spent my whole life helping others, working with teams that are inspired to find solutions to difficult biological problems with the end goal to ease the burden of suffering. ALS is in my opinion the worst of the worst when considering unmet neurodegenerative diseases. I believe our data from the ALS Phase I is showing measurable improvements in key areas of those afflicted and may be proven to be a treatment for ALS."
What is the credit market like?
Dr. Harel: "It has been difficult to engage in terms that are not burdensome to goals. It is a fine line to ensure solvency, manage dilution and move our clinical trials forward as expeditiously as possible. I was able to arrange favorable terms early this summer and closed in July on a $5.7 million Public Offering. We have been successful with securing non-dilutive grants. Since coming to Brainstorm in January, I have raised over $10 million."
What is next for Brainstorm?
Dr. Harel: "We concluded our ALS Phase I trial in Israel recently. We are nearing filing with the FDA a Phase II ALS trial to be conducted at MGH in Boston. We are progressing and we are pleased with the initial safety and efficacy we are seeing. I anticipate beginning the trial at MGH in early 2013."
What would you say to those living with ALS?
Dr. Harel: "I wake up every day with the charge to end ALS. I will not rest and I will not give up until I find a viable cellular solution for treatment and a disease reversal leading to a cure. I am excited about the data we have. Very few companies are working towards a treatment for ALS and that makes me work even harder knowing that so many are depending on us."
Do you see a time when ALS will be no more?
Dr. Harel: "Simply put, yes! We are working with the best researchers and clinicians in Israel and soon to be working with the best in the USA. I am not giving up."
Sai Rose concluded, "In my years of interviewing CEOs of companies, I have never met a more passionate CEO than Dr. Harel. He has the entire skill set package that is needed to succeed and grow a clinical stage company."
About Stem Cell Media, LLC.
Stem Cell Media, LLC. (SCM) is the world's 1st and only media company dedicated to the regenerative medicine sector. www.Investorstemcell.com is an online social media forum dedicated to investors interested in public companies using stem cells.
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