Montreal, Canada, May 4, 2017 (Newswire.com) – Fortuna Fix Inc. (“Fortuna”), a private, clinical-stage biotech company, is aiming to be the first to eliminate the need for embryonic and fetal stem cells by using direct reprogramming of autologous cells to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Fortuna announced today the launch of its Scientific Advisory Board (“SAB”) with Professor Michael Fehlings, MD, PhD; Father Kevin FitzGerald, S.J., PhD; Col. (R) Dallas Hack, MD, MPH; and Professor James Giordano, PhD.
“We are excited and honored to have these world-leading experts join our SAB,” says CEO Jan-Eric Ahlfors. “We look forward to working with them to bring our novel regenerative medicine solutions to patients suffering from neurotrauma and neurodegeneration.”
Fortuna’s two flagship technologies — autologous directly reprogrammed neural precursor cells (“drNPC”) and Regeneration Matrix (“RMx™”) — are poised to lead a revolution in neuro-regeneration.
For the first time, patients suffering from neurotrauma or neurodegeneration will be able to get treated with autologous neural stem cells produced by direct reprogramming (i.e. starting with and only using the patient’s own cells, bypassing use of pluripotent stem cells and avoiding harvesting and use of human embryos or fetuses). The method of direct reprogramming developed by Fortuna relies on an ethical, rapid, high throughput, low cost and fully automated manufacturing process. As drNPC do not involve any genetic engineering, pluripotent stem cells, or use of immune-suppression, it provides patients with personalized stem cells that are also expected to have a greater safety profile. In addition, drNPC are expected to replace dead neural cells, something that no other current technology can do effectively.
RMx™ is a unique and highly efficient bio-scaffold for the promotion of neural tissue regrowth.
“Our testing of drNPC at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre of the University Health Network in various Spinal Cord Injury (“SCI”) animal models to characterize their regenerative capacity and safety profile indicates that drNPC are a promising source of therapeutic stem cells with potential for tissue preservation and functional improvement after SCI. I am highly encouraged by the reprogramming efficiency of drNPC and look forward to leading the clinical development of drNPC for SCI,” says Professor Fehlings, after working on the drNPC in his lab for two years.
Dr. Hack further remarks: “Fortuna’s autologous drNPC represent a major advance in cell therapy for treatment of CNS injury and degeneration. For the first time, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes — the three type of cells of the brain and spinal cord — can be repaired and replaced where these cells have died or been destroyed due to trauma or neurodegenerative disease. Fortuna’s proprietary automated manufacturing addresses a key hurdle of personalized cell therapy, making drNPC commercially viable both at small and large scale”
“Stem cell therapeutics have been plagued with controversy and hype, raising ethical and political issues that have resulted in a relatively hostile funding environment for research and development in the field. I am excited to work alongside Fortuna to help advance development of their ethical and commercially viable platform for cell therapeutics to benefit patients, their families, and our entire society,” says Father FitzGerald.
The SAB members encompass unique expertise in key areas of importance for the company:
About Fortuna Fix Inc.
Fortuna is a private, clinical-stage biotech company with a patented direct cell reprogramming technology platform together with a patented bio-scaffolding technology for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma. The company is focused on clinical development of its platforms for a range of neurodegenerative diseases including SCI, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, TBI, and ALS. The company has developed a proprietary fully automated GMP manufacturing system for production of drNPC, initially to be used in clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease and Spinal Cord Injury.