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Hadasit Bio Holdings’ Portfolio Company, Cell Cure Neurosciences, Awarded Significant Funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Genever McBain

(Jerusalem -- January 31, 2007) -- Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd., an Israeli biotechnology company held by Hadasit Bio Holdings Ltd., received a significant boost from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

The foundation has awarded the company up to $660,000 over two years (with full funding dependent on the fulfillment of predetermined scientific milestones) to conduct research on the use of neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Cell Cure is one of 10 companies awarded a grant under the Foundation's Therapeutics Development Initiative — the Foundation’s first funding initiative open exclusively to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. The program was crafted specifically to encourage industry to translate laboratory discoveries into clinical trials for Parkinson's disease.

Cell Cure is developing human embryonic stem cell-based cell therapies for various neural disorders (such as Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases). It is focused on the conversion of human embryonic stem cells into dopamine-producing neurons. These neurons will form the basis of new cell replacement therapies for Parkinson's disease and will provide the dopamine that the damaged neurons in Parkinson's patients can no longer provide.

Cell Cure is jointly owned by ES Cell International (ESI – a Singapore-based corporation) and Hadasit Bio-Holdings, which is publicly traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange.

"The Michael J. Fox Foundation is one of the most influential bodies in the fight against Parkinson's," said Dr. Charles Irving, COO of Cell Cure. "We are delighted that the Foundation has recognized this project’s potential to have a major impact on millions of lives. The award will aid our scientific team in advancing this important research toward clinical trials in humans. I do believe that this line of development will lead to the next generation of modern medicine."

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson’s disease within this decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $90 million in research to date, either directly or through partnerships.

About Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd.

Cell Cure Neurosciences was founded in late 2005 as an Israeli subsidiary of ES Cell International Pte Ltd., aiming to develop cell-therapy products for the cure of neurodegenerative disorders. The initial effort is to produce dopaminergic neurons derived from embryonic stem cells, which are expected to produce the dopamine levels needed in the cure of Parkinson's disease. The corporation is based within the Hadassah Jerusalem Medical Center, next to a cell-producing facility designed to produce material for clinical experimentations. The corporation has raised $3 million in funds from Hadasit Bio Holdings, the parent company traded in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

About Hadasit Bio Holdings Ltd.

Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd. (HBL) was founded in late 2005 as a subsidiary of Hadasit, the Hadassah University Medical Center’s technology commercializing corporation. In January 2006 HBL went public (TASE: HDST) as one of the first holding corporations to focus on biotechnology, thereby allowing for the public to actively invest in research and development and in intellectual property generated in one of Israel's leading medical research institutions. HBL is a holding company consisting of nine companies in the fields of oncology (cancer diagnostics and therapies), autoimmune disorders (conditions caused by an immune response against the body's own tissues), and cell/tissue based therapies.

All the portfolio companies are aiming at $ billion plus potential markets, and they all have already successfully completed proof of concept studies in the target disease/disorder relevant animal models.

 

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