Diabetes BioTech firm moves to Leeds base

Posted on October 9, 2020 by Alistair Hardaker

Dr Nikolai Kunicher, CEO of Betalin Therapeutics pictured front row, centre with his team in Israel. (Photo taken pre-COVID)

An international BioTech company has chosen Nexus, the University of Leeds’ innovation hub, to develop a new diabetes treatment.

Betalin Therapeutics, based in Israel, has created a cell-therapy solution for insulin-dependent people with diabetes in collaboration with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Betalin’s technology, invented by Professor Eduardo Mitrani, works as a “micro pancreas” in people with diabetes, ensuring long-term secretion of vital insulin into their bodies.

The treatment is being further optimised with the support of an advisory board, which includes Nobel Prize winners Professor Sidney Altman and Professor Arieh Warshel and the company is now raising capital to further develop their technology, which could improve the lives of 170m people worldwide.

“The move to Nexus is a major step forward for us,” said Dr Nikolai Kunicher, CEO of Betalin Therapeutics.

“Leeds has an international reputation for its strengths in healthcare and medical technology and as the University of Leeds’ innovation hub, Nexus gives us access to vital academic skills as well as support for our growing business.

“That access to extraordinary talent has enabled us to appoint a new Scientific Project Manager to head up our UK research programme. Bianca Patel is an exceptional PhD graduate from the University of Leeds, who will co-ordinate our partner collaborations across the UK.

“We’re taking office space at Nexus with plans to add laboratory space as we grow our team of researchers and business developers and we’re really looking forward to being there in person rather than virtually.”

Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, added: “We’re extremely honoured and very proud that Betalin Therapeutics has chosen Nexus as its base for the next stage of its international expansion.

“The company is set to take the treatment and cure for diabetes to the next level, with novel technology which could benefit millions of insulin-dependent people worldwide. We’re delighted they are joining our growing Nexus community and further strengthening the global reputation of Leeds as a major centre for healthcare and medical technology.”

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