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Unicyte AG, Regenerative Medicine Unit of Fresenius Medical Care, Appoints World-Leading Experts to Scientific Advisory Board

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 10:30 (UTC + 2)
 Fresenius logo Unicyte logo 


Oberdorf, Switzerland, July 25, 2017 / B3C newswire / -- Unicyte AG, a pioneering leader in human liver stem cells and nano-extracellular vesicles, announced today the formation of its inaugural Scientific Advisory Board with the appointments of Professors Giovanni Camussi, Camillo Ricordi and Paul Robbins.

The board will work closely with Unicyte’s management team to accelerate the company’s lead candidate programs for treating diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetic nephropathy and renal cancer. In addition, it will provide scientific advice for the collaboration between Unicyte and Italy’s University of Turin, in order to foster innovation and new research programs.

"We are thrilled to establish a Scientific Advisory Board for Unicyte with some of the world's leading experts in regenerative medicine, diabetes, metabolic disease and aging as we move our therapeutic programs toward clinical validation," said Florian Jehle, CEO of Unicyte and Vice President, Technology & Innovation Management within Research & Development at Fresenius Medical Care.

Unicyte originated from the long-standing research collaboration between Fresenius Medical Care, the world's leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases, and Professor Camussi, a top expert in nano-extracellular vesicles and stem cells at the University of Turin. Now an independent affiliate of Fresenius Medical Care, Unicyte has a broad preclinical pipeline focusing on kidney and liver disorders, diabetes and oncology, and will work with partners when needed to advance these therapeutic programs.

The three new members of the Scientific Advisory Board are all highly respected scientists, with international reputations for their research and extensive work on important scientific bodies:

  • Giovanni Camussi is Professor and Chairman of Nephrology in the Internal Medicine and Medical Sciences departments at the University of Turin’s School of Medicine and Biotechnology. His research focuses on the purification and characterization of stem cell-derived nano-extracellular vesicles and the characterization of their coding and non-coding RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules. In particular, he has investigated the paracrine action of nano-extracellular vesicles.
  • Camillo Ricordi is Professor of Surgery and Director of the Diabetes Research Institute and the Cell Transplant Program at the University of Miami. He led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes, a procedure now used worldwide by laboratories performing clinical islet transplants.
  • Paul D. Robbins is Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida and Director of its Center on Aging. His research focuses on developing therapeutic approaches to extend health and reduce frailty using mouse models of aging.(1)

Dr. Daniel Gau, Unicyte’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Business Development, said: “Our Scientific Advisory Board comes at the right time to endorse our leading position in the fields of human liver stem cells and nano-extracellular vesicles, as we are anticipating first partnerships for future commercialization. At the same time, the board will guide Unicyte in identifying new areas of focus and potentially disruptive therapies, for the benefit of our patients.”


About Unicyte AG
Unicyte AG is a preclinical stage regenerative medicine company with a focus on kidney and liver disorders, diabetes and oncology. Unicyte evolved from a long-term research collaboration of Italy’s University of Turin and Fresenius Medical Care. Unicyte is headquartered in Oberdorf NW, Switzerland, and is an independent affiliate of Fresenius Medical Care, the world's largest provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure.

About Fresenius Medical Care
Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases, of which around 3 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 3,654 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for 310,473 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the leading provider of dialysis products such as dialysis machines or dialyzers. Along with the core business, the company focuses on expanding the range of related medical services in the field of Care Coordination. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS).

About the University of Turin / MBC Turin
The Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC) at the University of Turin, active since September 2006, has the main objective to bring together investigators with different scientific backgrounds to facilitate an interdisciplinary approach to biomedical research. The Center is actively involved in biotechnological research in the field of biomedical sciences, with specific focus on the study of the molecular mechanisms at the basis of physiopathological processes that have a significant impact on human health, such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, cancer and stem cell biology. These research efforts are mainly based on the development of the most advanced molecular imaging technology, bioinformatic analysis and the generation of mouse and zebrafish models.

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, including changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, regulatory reforms, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.

 
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(1) Appendix: Professional and scientific profiles of new appointees to Unicyte’s Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Giovanni Camussi:
In addition to his posts as Professor and Chairman of Nephrology of the Medical Sciences Department of the University of Turin’s School of Medicine, Giovanni Camussi serves at the school as president of the medical biotechnology course, director of the doctoral program in medical pathophysiology, and Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory of the Molecular Biotechnology Center. He is President of the Scientific Committee of the Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Turin, in cooperation with Fresenius Medical Care.

Prof. Camussi received his professor’s title (Nephrology) from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Naples. A leading expert in nano-extracellular vesicles, he serves on the editorial boards of several journals including the American Journal of Cancer Research, the Journal of Nephrology, and the International Journal of Molecular Medicine. His main research focus is the purification and characterization of stem cell-derived nano-extracellular vesicles and the characterization of their mRNA and miRNA content: In particular, he has investigated the role of microvesicles in the paracrine action of progenitors/stem cells and their possible therapeutic applications. He has also served as referee for major international research agencies including Britain’s Wellcome Trust, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Israel Science Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Prof. Camussi lists more than 445 publications in PubMED’s-indexed journals, and a total citation rate of 19,172. His h-index is 71.

Prof. Camillo Ricordi:
Professor of Surgery and Director of the Diabetes Research Institute (www.diabetesresearch.org) and the Cell Transplant Program at the University of Miami, Camillo Ricordi led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes. This procedure is now used worldwide by laboratories performing clinical islet transplants. Prof. Ricordi, along with collaborators, developed the method for large-scale production of human pancreatic islets. He now chairs the NIH-funded Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium, which standardized cell manufacturing protocols in North America and Europe and recently completed the first multicenter FDA Phase III trial for what could become the first biologically active cell product approved in the United States by the FDA.

Prof. Ricordi is currently editor-in-chief of CellR4 (www.cellr4.org) and has served as co-editor of Cell Transplantation and associate editor of The American Journal of Transplantation. A former president of the Cell Transplant Society, he has served on the NIH-NIAID Expert Panel on clinical approaches for tolerance induction, on the FDA Biologic Response Modifiers Advisory Committee, and on the NIH-NIDDK Strategic Planning Committee. In 2013 he was appointed President of the Ri.MED Foundation, one of the largest European investments in Biomedical Research, Biotechnologies and Regenerative Medicine. Prof. Ricordi also served as founding President of The Cure Alliance from 2011-15, and is now Chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Federation (www.diabetesresearch.org). The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Prof. Ricordi has been knighted by the President of the Republic of Italy. Prof. Ricordi has 1,051 scientific publications (Source: Research Gate 6-15-2017), 35,875 citations, an h-index of 86 and an i10 index of 448 (Source: Google Scholar 6-15-2017). As an inventor, he has been awarded 25 patents.

Prof. Paul D. Robbins:
Professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida and Director of its Center on Aging, Paul Robbins focuses his research on the development of therapeutic approaches – including small molecules, biologics and stem cells – to extend health and reduce frailty using mouse models of aging. Previously, Prof. Robbins was Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Director of Basic Research for the Molecular Medicine Institute and Co-Director of the Paul Wellstone Cooperative Muscular Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Interim Director of Molecular & Cellular Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. After receiving his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Mulligan at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prof. Robbins has co-authored more than 320 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 170 book chapters and reviews, and edited four books. He was a member of the NIH PathB Study Section and of the Telethon Scientific Advisory Board, and Chair of the Italian Telethon Scientific Review Committee. He was also a member of the Scientific Review Board of the National Gene Vector Laboratory and the Board of Directors of the American Society of Gene Therapy, and is currently a member of the National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program.