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StemCells Inc picked up by Israeli medical devices firm

Dan Stanton

By Dan Stanton+

16-Aug-2016
Last updated on 16-Aug-2016 at 14:48 GMT2016-08-16T14:48:07Z

Image: iStock/DigitalStorm
Image: iStock/DigitalStorm

StemCells Inc has merged with Israeli medical devices firm Microbot Medical three months after terminating a Phase II trial of its HuCNS-SC human neural stem cells.

The merger was announced in an SEC filing on Friday, and will see stockholders for the Israeli medical device firm take 95% ownership of the newly combined company.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, and Microbot Medical COO Simon Sharon would not comment when contacted by this publication.

Stemcells has had a turbulent few months: In May, California-based cell therapy developer StemCells Inc announced it was terminating its Phase II Pathway Study using its neural stem cells in spinal cord injury on the basis of inconclusive results coupled with limited financial resources.

The news sent the share price down by around 80% to $0.57 and since then the price has remained below $1, leading to a written notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market in July notifying the firm that it was not in compliance with the requirements for continued inclusion on the Nasdaq Market.

It also drove the firm to announce it was winding down its operations, and late last month it struck a deal to exit its lease at a Newark, California facility through a one-off $800,000 settlement payment to its landlord BMR-Pacific Research Center.

Microbot Medical focuses on micro-robotics in the field of medical technologies, while StemCells makes HuCNS-SC human neural stem cells and had four programmes in development, including the trials for spinal cord injury.

It is not clear if these programmes will continue, or whether the new entity will continue to focus on stem cell manufacture and development.

However, the company will not be advancing with StemCells’ CEO Ian Massey or CFO Gregory Schiffman, both of which resigned from their roles, pocketing one-off lump sum compensation of $216,667 and $187,500 respectively.

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