Cellusion and Celregen | September 12, 2022
Cellusion Inc. a Japanese regenerative medicine startup aiming to solve the global corneal transplant waiting list problem with a unique differentiation induction method from iPS cells to Corneal Endothelial Cell Substitute from iPS Cells for bullous keratopathy novel treatment and Hangzhou Celregen Therapeutics Ltd. a member of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and focus on regenerative medicine and cell therapy and incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital announced an exclusive license agreement in the Greater China region for Celregen to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001.
Under the Agreement, Celregen will have the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001 for bullous keratopathy in the Greater China region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. On the other hand, Cellusion retains the rights of development, manufacturing and commercialization of CLS001 in other regions including Japan, the USA, and EU.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cellusion will potentially receive over 100 million US dollars including upfront payment, development milestones and sales milestones as well as tiered royalties.
“We are very enthusiastic about combining our knowledge of the underlying iPS cellular biology with Celregen and Fosun Pharma in the development and commercialization of innovative medicine in China. Together, we are committed to make best efforts on launching CLS001 for the patient suffering from bullous keratopathy due to the cornea donor shortage in the greater China region.”
Shin Hatou, M.D. Ph.D., CEO of Cellusion
“Today’s announcement with a global industry leader in iPS cells derived corneal endothelial regenerative therapy such as Cellusion, is an important and strategic step to build a long-term foundation for cell therapy in China,” said Cui Zhiping, the Chairman of Celregen, Fosun Global Partner, Chief Consultant of VC investment of Fosun Pharma and CEO of Fosun New Drug Fund. “This partnership, which leverages each company’s respective strengths, will help us bring novel regenerative medicine products to patients in greater China.”
According to reports, there are about millions of people in China who are blind due to corneal diseases, and this number is increasing at a rate of 100,000 per year. Most of the patients with corneal blindness need corneal transplantation to restore their sight, but only less than 20,000 corneal transplants are conducted due to severe donor cornea shortage issues.
Cellusion has already announced that the patient recruitment began for the First-in-Human Investigator-Initiated Study of CLS001 to initiate in 2022 at the Keio University Hospital and has been preparing to start Cellusion initiated clinical trial in Japan within a few years followed by global studies in the US and EU region.
Cellusion is developing CLS001, CECSi cells for Corneal Endothelial regeneration to cure Bullous Keratopathy which is applied to more than half of all cases of corneal transplantation. CLS001 is expected to replace the current supply limitations by combining “CECSi Cells made from iPS cells with excellent proliferative properties” and “a simple injection cell delivery procedure without needs of human expertise.”
Celregen, incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital, focuses on stem cell and transformed cellular regenerative medicine. This platform adopts a variety of modes of cooperation with leading biotech and scientists. It is expected to be a head biotech in regenerative medicine in China.
About Fosun Pharma
Founded in 1994, Fosun Pharma is a global innovation-driven pharmaceutical and healthcare industry group deep-rooted in China. Fosun Pharma directly operates businesses including pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices, medical diagnosis, and healthcare services. As a shareholder of Sinopharm Co., Ltd., Fosun Pharma expands its areas in the pharmaceutical distribution and retail business. Fosun Pharma is patient-centered and clinical needs-oriented. The company enriches its innovative product pipeline through diversified and multi-level cooperation models such as independent research and development, cooperative development, license-in, and in-depth incubation. Fosun Pharma has formed technological platforms for innovative small molecule drugs, antibody drugs, and cell therapy with a focus on key disease areas including oncology and immunomodulation, metabolism and digestive system, and central nervous system.
About Fosun New Drug Fund
New Drug Fund, under the management of Fosun Health Capital, is the first VC established by Fosun Pharma. The Fund focuses on innovative biopharmaceutical-based drug fields at the start-up and expansion stages, including gene therapy, cell therapy, bio-conjugate drugs, and medical aesthetics, etc. The Fund has committed to incubate cutting-edging science and revolutionary technologies from world top universities, research institutes and biotech, through which path we can establish and adopt a variety of models of cooperation.
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | August 22, 2022
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors from five to eleven and appointed six new directors following their election at its special meeting of stockholders held on August 15, 2022. The new directors, which were on a nominee slate proposed by Activist Investing LLC are Avraham Ben-Tzvi, Peter L. Chasey, Eric Greenberg, David E. Lazar, Matthew C. McMurdo and David Natan.
In addition, following the Special Meeting, Mr. Lazar was appointed interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with a mandate to lead Titan's continuing review of strategic alternatives. Mr. Lazar succeeds Marc Rubin, M.D., who will no longer serve as Executive Chairman, but will remain on the Board.
"As one of the largest investors in Titan, Activist Investing's goal is to help the Company unlock value for both ourselves and our fellow shareholders through a strategic transaction. I believe the reconstituted Board, which collectively possess decades of experience in pharmaceutical executive leadership, clinical research, strategic turnarounds, deal structuring, corporate governance, investment management, accounting, finance and corporate law, will be a tremendous asset in this endeavor."
Biographies of Newly Elected Directors
Avraham Ben-Tzvi is the Founder of ABZ Law Office, a boutique Israeli law firm specializing in outsourced general counsel services for publicly traded as well as private companies and corporations, Investments & Securities Laws, Commercial Law & Contracts and various civil law matters, which he established in January 2017. Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Purple Biotech Ltd. (formerly Kitov Pharma Ltd.), a clinical-stage company advancing first-in-class therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance, from November 2015 until April 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as General Counsel and secretary at Medigus Ltd., a minimally invasive endosurgical tools medical device and miniaturized imaging equipment company, from April 2014 until November 2015. Mr. Ben-Tzvi is a member of the Israel Bar Association, and is also licensed as a Notary by the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Prior to that he served as an attorney at one of Israel's leading international law fi
rms where, amongst other corporate and commercial work, he advised companies and underwriters on various offerings by Israeli companies listing in US and on various SEC related filings. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ben-Tzvi worked in a number of business development, corporate finance and banking roles at companies in the financial services, lithium battery manufacturing and software development industries. Mr. Ben-Tzvi holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics from Yeshiva University in New York and an LLB, magna cum laude with Honors, in from Sha'arei Mishpat College of Law in Hod HaSharon, Israel.
Peter L. Chasey serves as the Owner of Chasey Law Offices, a law practice specializing in personal litigation, business litigation and commercial law, since founding the practice in 2005. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chasey served as staff counsel for one of the largest insurance companies in the world defending general claims against insured businesses and also served as a land surveyor. Mr. Chasey holds a B.S. in Political Science and Government from the University of San Diego and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Eric Greenberg has over 40 years of capital markets experience. As a trader and portfolio manager at hedge funds, his areas of expertise included the development of trading strategies, portfolio management and deal structuring. Mr. Greenberg was Co-Founder of Blink Charging Co., a leader in the EV charging infrastructure industry. In addition, Mr. Greenberg provides investor relation and digital marketing services for companies across a variety of industries, such as life sciences, fintech, internet platforms and others. Mr. Greenberg holds a B.B.A in Finance from Baruch College and an M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College Zicklin School of Business.
David E. Lazar has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, a company which specializes in assisting distressed public companies through custodianship, since February 2018, and Activist Investing LLC, an actively managed investment fund, since March 2018. Previously, Mr. Lazar served as Managing Partner at Zenith Partners International Inc., a boutique consulting firm, from July 2012 to April 2018. In his role as Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, Mr. Lazar has successfully served as a custodian to numerous public companies across a wide range of industries. Mr. Lazar currently serves as an Advisor to PROMAX Investments LLC, a position he has held since July 2022, and as an Ambassador at Large for the Arab African Council for Integration and Development, since March 2022.
Matthew C. McMurdo currently serves as Managing Member of McMurdo Law Group, LLC, a corporate and securities law practice, since 2010. Previously, Mr. McMurdo was a Partner at Nannarone & McMurdo, LLP, a boutique law firm, from 2008 to 2010. In addition, Mr. McMurdo served as General Counsel of Berkley Asset Management LLC, the general partner of a real estate fund focused on opportunistic and distressed real estate assets, from 2011 to 2013. Mr. McMurdo holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a J.D., cum laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
David Natan currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Natan & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm offering chief financial officer services to public and private companies in a variety of industries, since 2007. In addition, Mr. Natan currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Airborne Motorworks, Inc., a privately-held aerospace transportation company, since April 2020. From February 2010 to May 2020, Mr. Natan served as Chief Executive Officer of ForceField Energy, Inc., a company focused on the solar industry and LED lighting products. From February 2002 to November 2007, Mr. Natan served as Executive Vice President of Reporting and Chief Financial Officer of PharmaNet Development Group, Inc., a drug development services company, and, from June 1995 to February 2002, as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Global Technovations, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of oil analysis instruments and speakers and speaker components. Prior to that, Mr. Na
tan served in various roles of increasing responsibility with Deloitte & Touche LLP, a global consulting firm. Mr. Natan currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Global Diversified Marketing Group, Inc., a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of food and snack products, since February 2021 and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Sunshine Biopharma, Inc., a pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement company, since February 2022. Previously, Mr. Natan served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ForceField Energy, Inc., from April 2015 to May 2020, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Global Technovations, Inc., from December 1999 to December 2001. Mr. Natan holds a B.A. in Economics from Boston University.
About Titan Pharmaceuticals
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in South San Francisco, CA, is a development stage company developing proprietary therapeutics with its ProNeura® long-term, continuous drug delivery technology. The ProNeura technology has the potential to be used in developing products for treating a number of chronic conditions, where maintaining consistent, around-the-clock blood levels of medication may benefit the patient and improve medical outcomes. In December 2021, Titan commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.
ArisGlobal | September 08, 2022
ArisGlobal, the leading provider of life sciences software that automates core drug development functions with its end-to-end technology platform LifeSphere®, today announces an expansion to its C-suite. James Jarrett is the company's new Chief Financial Officer, Kathleen Turland joins as the first Chief Legal Officer, and Aman Wasan has stepped into the new role of Chief Commercial Officer. The three appointments are happening during a time of significant momentum for ArisGlobal, which has experienced annual recurring revenue growth of 34% in the first half of 2022 YoY.
James Jarrett, Chief Financial Officer
Jarrett brings over a decade of executive leadership experience driving revenue and cash flow growth. He has partnered with management teams and boards of directors of high-growth, highly leveraged companies undergoing rapid change. Prior to joining ArisGlobal, he served as the CFO for Emergence Health Holdings, Carewell Urgent Care, and ProCure Proton Therapy Center.
Kathleen Turland, Chief Legal Officer
Turland is a global strategic leader with more than 20 years of legal experience. She brings her broad range of legal and business skills to ArisGlobal, having worked with companies experiencing significant growth and expansion over the years, including General Electric, and FUSE Group. She started her legal career in New York, clerking for a Federal Court Judge, and working at two revered New York law firms.
Aman Wasan, Chief Commercial Officer
Wasan is an expert in general management and commercial leadership with a deep understanding and knowledge of drug safety and clinical research. Since joining ArisGlobal in 2018, Wasan has excelled in six different positions, most recently as Senior Vice President of Global Commercials, where he managed global enterprise business. Before joining the ArisGlobal team, Wasan worked for Bioclinica as the company's Global Head of Safety and Regulatory Services.
"As we continue scaling our business and building new functions to better serve our customer base, expanding our C-suite will help us execute our mission and further drive our success in the life sciences industry. James, Kathleen, and Aman carry a wealth of industry knowledge instrumental in empowering ArisGlobal to further expand its customer pipeline, continue to develop innovative technology, and maintain a role as a trusted leader in the market."
CEO Mike Gordon
Turland's addition to the company also represents consistent and focused efforts by ArisGlobal to continually put women in positions of leadership. Turland joins ArisGlobal veterans Ritu Shrivastava, Vice President Corporate Development, and Heidi Hattendorf, Vice President of Marketing, on the executive team. Currently, ArisGlobal also has women in core leadership positions across business, product, quality, people, and technology functions.
ArisGlobal is led by passionate individuals who support life sciences leaders in developing and monitoring breakthrough medicines and therapies. With more than 35 years of expertise in the life sciences industry, ArisGlobal develops technology products within the platform LifeSphere to power pharmaceutical and biotech research and development. Building on our commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, we give back to the communities where we live and work – in the U.S, Europe, India, Japan, and China.
Mauna Kea Technologies | July 12, 2022
Mauna Kea Technologies inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, and Tasly Pharmaceuticals announced the execution of an agreement to form a Joint Venture.
Under terms of the agreement, Tasly and Mauna Kea will form a Joint Venture that will (i) commercialize selected Cellvizio indications in China, (ii) develop and commercialize Cellvizio globally in the fields of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and (iii) manufacture Cellvizio units for the Chinese market. The JV will utilize both existing distribution partners and its own network of China-based marketing professionals to accelerate market adoption.
In exchange for contributing licenses and other intellectual property to the JV, Mauna Kea will receive cash payments totaling $10 million, a 44.1% equity interest in the JV, and a 5-year commitment to purchase minimum quantities of Cellvizio systems and probes. Mauna Kea’s equity holdings are net of shares issued to Cenponts Tech Limited in consideration for strategic advisory services provided in connection to the transaction. The Joint Venture will be majority owned and funded by Tasly and jointly managed by Tasly and Mauna Kea.
The Joint Venture will be in an immediate position to leverage Mauna Kea’s position as global leader in probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy, with its FDA clearance for neurosurgery applications, its broad regulatory clearances in the Chinese market as well as its significant installed based in leading hospitals in China.
“We are delighted to partner with Tasly Pharmaceuticals, a life sciences leader in Asia-Pacific with a global presence. This transaction both expands the addressable market for Cellvizio and increases Mauna Kea’s capacity to invest further in product and clinical development, including molecular imaging and artificial intelligence. This announcement builds on the strategic repositioning we announced in December 2021 and our emphasis on forming capital-efficient partnerships that leverage the commercial reach of global biopharma and medtech firms while increasing patient access to Cellvizio.”
Sacha Loiseau, Ph.D., founder and Chairman of Mauna Kea Technologies
Kaijing Yan, Chairman of Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group, commented: “The field of biomedical engineering is an important part of Tasly Pharmaceuticals’ second growth curve strategy. The cooperation with Mauna Kea Technologies will enable us to quickly access large markets in China addressed by the multiple clinical applications of Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy. The recent advances in molecular imaging with Cellvizio are also of great interest to us since Tasly Pharmaceuticals could assist the Joint Venture in developing new combinations of Cellvizio with novel molecular markers, aligned with our vision of providing integrated solutions from diagnosis to treatment. We very much look forward to a fruitful and rich collaboration with Mauna Kea Technologies.”
About Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group
Adhering to the business mission of "To share the joy of health with all", Tasly has always been promoting the integrative development of traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine. Tasly continuously focuses on the three disease fields of cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases, digestive and metabolic diseases and tumors, which have the largest market share and the fastest development in China. It is committed to providing drug R&D that is urgently needed for clinical use and even addresses the unmet needs in China's clinical market. By leveraging the coordinated development advantages of modern TCM, biological medicine and chemical medicine, it carries out the strategic layout of innovative drugs and continues to maintain its leading position in the industry and the development momentum of R&D and innovation.
About Mauna Kea Technologies
Mauna Kea Technologies is a global medical device company that manufactures and sells Cellvizio®, the real-time in vivo cellular imaging platform. This technology uniquely delivers in vivo cellular visualization which enables physicians to monitor the progression of disease over time, assess point-in-time reactions as they happen in real time, classify indeterminate areas of concern, and guide surgical interventions.