Secant Group Announces Collaboration between Orgenesis and Atvio Biotech, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Masthercell Global, to Develop and Commercialize Scaffold Technologies for Advanced Cell Therapies

Secant Group and Atvio Biotech to advance project under $1.8 million grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation

Orgenesis to utilize scaffold technology for its autologous cell therapy platform

TELFORD, Pa.--()--Secant Group, a manufacturer of advanced biomaterials and medical textiles, today announced collaboration with Orgenesis Inc. (Nasdaq:ORGS) and Atvio Biotech Ltd., which is wholly-owned by the Company’s Masthercell Global subsidiary, to develop and commercialize biodegradable and injectable scaffold technologies for use in advanced cell therapies.

Under the agreement, Secant Group will engineer and prototype 3D scaffolds based on novel biomaterials and technologies involving bioresorbable polymer microparticles, while Atvio will provide expertise in cell coatings, cell production, process development and support services. The collaboration will be financed in part through a $1.8 million grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D (BIRD) Foundation, as well as additional funding provided by Orgenesis and Secant Group. Orgenesis shall have the right to utilize the technology for its autologous cell therapy platform, including its Autologous Insulin Producing (“AIP”) cell technology for patients with type 1 diabetes, acute pancreatitis and other insulin deficient diseases.

Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, commented, “We are encouraged by the early progress resulting from the collaboration between Atvio and Secant Group. Secant brings unique expertise in advanced biomaterials and scaffold structures. Their best-in-class scaffold technology is designed to minimize stress for the cells thereby potentially enhancing yields and dramatically shortening cell culturing time. We look forward to leveraging this technology within our own therapeutic products. This agreement is closely aligned with our broader strategy to partner and in-license best-in-class technologies to advance our cell therapy platform.”

Jeff Robertson, President of Secant Group, commented, “Secant Group has been advancing the use of biomaterials in the field of regenerative medicine through the development of scaffold technologies for decades. We are excited to bring our technologies forward in this project. Biomaterials show significant promise as vehicles for cell transplantation because of their potential to modulate the microenvironment of the cells. We believe that their use in 3D scaffolding of various configurations is gaining substantial acceptance.”



About ATVIO Biotech:

ATVIO Biotech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Masthercell Global, is a leading global cell therapy process innovation center with a focus on cGMP cell and gene manufacturing, virus manufacturing, process development, custom automation and translation of cell therapies from lab to market.



About Orgenesis

Orgenesis is a vertically-integrated biopharmaceutical company with expertise and unique experience in cell therapy development and support services. Through its Israeli subsidiary, Orgenesis Ltd., Orgenesis is developing technology designed to successfully reprogram human liver cells into glucose-responsive, fully functional, Insulin Producing Cells (IPCs). Orgenesis believes that converting the diabetic patient's own tissue into insulin-producing cells has the potential to overcome the significant issues of donor shortage, cost and exposure to chronic immunosuppressive therapy associated with islet cell transplantation. Through its Masthercell Global subsidiary, a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), Orgenesis is able to deliver optimized process industrialization capacities to cell therapy organizations and speed up the arrival of their therapies onto the market. From technology selection to business modeling, GMP manufacturing, process development, and quality management, Masthercell’s teams are fully committed to helping their clients fulfill their objective of providing sustainable and affordable therapies to their patients. Masthercell operates in a validated and flexible facility located in the strategic center of Europe within the Walloon healthcare cluster, Biowin. This integrated approach supports the Company's business philosophy of bringing to market significant life-improving medical treatments. 



Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements involve substantial uncertainties and risks and are based upon our current expectations, estimates and projections and reflect our beliefs and assumptions based upon information available to us at the date of this release. We caution readers that forward-looking statements are predictions based on our current expectations about future events. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the success of our reorganized CDMO operations, the success of our partnership with Great Point, our ability to achieve and maintain overall profitability, the sufficiency of working capital to realize our business plans, the development of our transdifferentiation technology as therapeutic treatment for diabetes which could, if successful, be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes; our technology not functioning as expected; our ability to retain key employees; our ability to satisfy the rigorous regulatory requirements for new procedures; our competitors developing better or cheaper alternatives to our products and the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "RISK FACTORS" in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason.



Contacts

Secant Group
Diane Reitter, 215-257-8680 X130
Diane.reitter@secant.com