Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Monday, June 12 2017 - 11:00
Betalin Therapeutics Named Biotech Startup of the Year at MIXiii Biomed Conference in Tel-Aviv, Israel
JERUSALEM, June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

     Betalin Therapeutics Ltd. [ ], a biotech 
company developing a micro-pancreas to treat diabetes, was named biotech 
"Startup of the Year" at the MIXiii Biomed 2017 Conference held in Tel-Aviv, 
Israel, May 23-25, 2017.  The conference is the largest international annual 
conference and exhibition of the life science industry in Israel, and the 
competition was judged by a panel including senior officials from the Israel 
Innovation Authority.

    Betalin Therapeutics' micro-pancreas, called "Endocrine Micro-Pancreas" 
(EMP(TM)), is engineered using a proprietary biological scaffold together with 
human-source pancreatic islets containing beta cells.  Beta cells are 
responsible for production of insulin, a hormone that helps to regulate blood 
sugar levels by assisting the transport of glucose from the blood into 
neighboring cells. The EMP is transplanted into diabetic patients 
subcutaneously and is expected to integrate into the patient's body through 

     "We are honored to have won this award," said Jacob Ben-Arie, Chief 
Executive Officer,  Betalin Therapeutics.  "The EMP is a huge step forward in 
treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and has the potential to improve the 
lives of millions of people.   We are currently in the process of raising 
capital, and with the necessary funds in hand, we intend to file our 
Investigational New Drug Application (IND) and commence our first-in-man 
clinical study next year."

    The EMP(TM) technology was developed by a team led by Prof. Eduardo 
Mitrani, from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Faculty 
of Science at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  Prof. Mitrani is 
Chairman of Betalin Therapeutics' Scientific Advisory Board.

    Prof. Mitrani explained, "Rather than creating cells, we are trying to 
create an organ,  a self-contained unit that functions autonomously and can be 
placed virtually anywhere in the body. The novelty of the EMP is the use of 
cells instead of drugs as therapeutics.  The EMP is a biological product 
developed to construct a mini-organ that mimics the physiological situation in 
the body by embedding islets in the scaffold, in order to enable the islets to 
assimilate into the tissue."

    The EMP has proved so far to be more efficient than current 
islet-transplantation therapy. Insulin produced by the EMP is expected to be 
better-regulated and longer-lasting than the insulin generated from current 
islet-transplantation therapy. Current therapy requires multiple 
transplantation procedures, since each new transplantation requires 3-4 donors 
due to poor islet function.  The EMP is expected to require only a single 
transplantation procedure, and the expectation is that the islet cells of a 
single donor will be able to be transplanted into 2-3 patients. Creating the 
EMP prior to implantation will allow for a well-controlled process, and that 
the quality of the EMP will be tested before each transplantation in order to 
verify proper insulin release and regulation.

    In addition to Prof. Mitrani, other members of the Company's Scientific 
Advisory Board include Prof. Camillo Ricordi, the Stacy Joy Goodman Professor 
of Surgery, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biomedical 
Engineering and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Diabetes 
Research Institute, and Prof. James Shapiro, a Professor of surgery, medicine, 
and surgical oncology, and the Director of the Clinical Islet Transplant 
Program, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and the Canada 
Research Chair in Transplant Surgery and Regenerative Medicine.

    About Betalin Therapeutics, Ltd.

    Established in 2015, Betalin Therapeutics is developing a biological micro 
pancreas implanted with human-source pancreatic islets. The Endocrine 
Micro-Pancreas (EMP(TM)) is intended to be transplanted subcutaneously to 
patients suffering from Type 1 or severe Type 2 diabetes and restore their 
ability to produce insulin and have normal glycemic control.  The Company has 
entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for the EMP(TM) 
technology with Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of The Hebrew 
University of Jerusalem.  Based on promising in-vitro and in-vivo data, Betalin 
is now preparing for a pre-IND meeting with the FDA on its way towards IND 
submission. For additional information, please visit

     Shay Herchcovici
     VP Business Development
     Betalin Therapeutics

Source:  Betalin Therapeutics