Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of dialysis services and products, plans to invest EUR 60 million in its independent affiliate Unicyte AG in a Series A financing round. Unicyte, a leading regenerative medicine company with translational programs in the field of kidney disorders and other diseases, will primarily use the capital to start clinical trials of its first product candidates in 2020 and to establish the required manufacturing processes.
Over the last four years, Unicyte has created a unique set of proprietary technology platforms of human liver stem cells (HLSCs), HLSC-derived islets and nano-Extracellular Vesicles (nEVs). nEVs are stem cell-derived particles that support communication between cells.
Unicyte succeeded in confirming the disease-modifying potential of its nEVs in various preclinical models of chronic kidney disorders. Combined results of these studies demonstrate nEVs’ efficacy and underlying mechanism of action in preventing renal fibrosis and its subsequent progression to end-stage renal disease.
“Regenerative medicine could provide highly innovative therapies to chronic kidney disease patients and is becoming increasingly important for our industry. Driving regenerative therapies not only addresses the U.S. administration’s initiative to improve the prevention of end-stage renal disease, but can help us to significantly slow the progression of kidney disease and make the most innovative therapies available to our patients,” said Rice Powell, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care.
Dr. Olaf Schermeier, Fresenius Medical Care’s CEO for Global Research and Development, said: “This continued investment in Unicyte shows our commitment to developing the best treatment options for our patients across the renal care continuum. At the same time, it puts Fresenius Medical Care at the forefront of innovation in the field of regenerative renal stem cell therapy.”
“Based on our preclinical results, the commitment of Fresenius Medical Care is a strong driver for Unicyte’s next milestone, the start of clinical development with the required organizational structure. It will also provide a solid data package for our non-kidney product candidates to seek strategic partnerships as the next step,” said Florian Jehle, CEO of Unicyte.
Fresenius Medical Care is the world’s leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases of which around 3.4 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 3,996 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for 339,550 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).
Unicyte AG is a regenerative medicine company with a focus on kidney & 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 headquarted in Oberdorf NW, Switzerland, and is an independent affiliate of Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases.
For more information visit the company’s website at www.unicyte.ch.
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.