Late-stage biotech GID BIO wins funding from Richard King Mellon Foundation to study regenerative medicine as a potential therapeutic for severe respiratory distress
Study to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients applies same technology platform and point-of-care cellular therapy used in a pivotal/Phase III trial for osteoarthritis
LOUISVILLE, Colo. and PITTSBURGH, Aug. 18, 2020 — Following FDA clearance of an expanded access protocol to treat a small group of COVID-19 patients using the GID BIO technology platform, The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded $250,000 to GID BIO to conduct the study for patients with severe respiratory distress due to COVID-19.
The cellular therapy uses an intravenous injection of autologous stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells, derived at point-of-care using the GID BIO SVF-2 technology platform. GID BIO currently has a potential break-through treatment using the same platform for treatment of osteoarthritis in a pivotal/Phase III trial.
“Cellular medicine uses a transplantation of live cells to repair and regenerate tissues of the body without a need for drugs or major surgery,” said William W. Cimino, Ph.D., CEO of GID BIO.
“We are thrilled that we have been cleared by the FDA to investigate the use of our technology for a small number of COVID patients and that we have the support of the prestigious Richard King Mellon Foundation.”
The GID BIO technology isolates and concentrates stromal cells, from a small sample of the patient’s adipose (fat) tissue, that are then used directly for therapy. Patients receive an injection of a cellular implant made with their own stromal cells. The entire procedure is minimally invasive and completed in less than a few hours. Stromal cells play an essential role in the body’s natural healing response.
“As the world races to develop COVID-19 diagnostic tests and vaccines, we are investigating a therapeutic approach to minimize patient suffering and improve quality of life,” said Cimino.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation award is a Program Related Investment in health innovation and technology, and is a component of the Foundation’s COVID-19 strategy. The Foundation utilizes Program Related Investments to help finance efforts to better protect people from transmission of the virus; to enhance COVID-19 testing; and to create COVID-19 vaccines. Through a PRI, the Foundation provides capital to for-profit initiatives that have the potential to bring significant public benefit that requires financing beyond the traditional capital markets.
Foundation Director and Trustee, Sam Reiman noted, “This $250,000 award to GID BIO can potentially mitigate some of the impact this pandemic has forced on our communities. We are proud to fund a team that is on the cusp of a breakthrough in regenerative medicine where very few treatment options exist.”
Future applications being evaluated by GID BIO include degenerative musculoskeletal, dermal and organ-specific diseases.
About the Richard King Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s 2019 endowment was $2.7 billion and its Trustees in 2019 awarded 172 grants totaling $129 million, focused on the Foundation’s strategic priorities: economic development, education, environmental conservation and human services.
About GID BIO
GID BIO develops next generation cellular therapies for degenerative musculoskeletal, dermal, and organ specific diseases, making cellular medicine possible for millions. GID’s SVF-2 technology and point-of-care (POC) therapy harness the innate power of a patient’s own stromal cells. Information on GID’s SVF-2 technology, biologic cellular implants, POC therapy, and osteoarthritis clinical program and pipeline can be found at: https://www.HealingIntelligently.com.