From Start- up to the world’s leading producer of advanced stem cell-based therapies for cancer: this is Rigenerand. The company is the result of the synergy between the University of Modena and Rand, an historic company of the Mirandola biomedical sector.
After magnetizing the ‘attention – and the capitals, (9.5 million euros so far from the fund Principia III) Rigenerand has now collected another 2 million from Marco Bombarda, symbol of another excellence of the Modena area: Balsamic vinegar. The injection, which was part of a recapitalization operation of around 4 million, brings to 13 million millions collected so far by the newco. Rigenerand saw the light in 2016 thanks to professor and doctor Massimo Dominici and allows to exploit at its full potential the new “Cell factory” of Medolla, in the heart of the Emilia Romagna’s biomedical district. Here, once the testing phases are over, tailor-made cures will be “manufactured” based on cells of the same patient genetically regenerated. This will help to heal from incurable tumors, such as the pancreas one.
«This year we should obtain the certification of the new cell factory (500 square meters of laboratories behind the Rand factory of Gianni Bellini. He is one of the main entrepreneurs of the cluster who today is second shareholder after Principia). In 2020, once toxicity tests will be completed , we should have the AIFA ok to proceed on patients». Explains Councilor Giorgio Mar who has an entire career behind him in the cluster and today is responsible for the transition of biomedical towards the pharmaceutical. « Regenerative medicine finds here in the district a unique know-how on transfusion fluids, circulation and oxygenation which are essential to develop gene therapies.»
The innovation of Rigenerand consists in taking cells from the patient’s fat and modifying them genetically by injecting a virus that changes the DNA. This virus make them able to amplify at speeds previously unthinkable. This is possible thanks to another patent, a porous matrix in which the same cells reproduce in 3D. The cells thus treated secrete large amounts of a protein that selectively recognizes cancer cells and inactivates them, “poisoning” them. Tests conducted so far have shown surprising efficacy results.
The new shareholder Marco Bombarda , co-founder and president of Acetum, is the confirmation of the great expectations that Rigenerand is feeding. «I have not only seen an excellent opportunity to enhance my assets in the medium/long term – explains Bombarda – but I was struck by the ability of this cure to counteract one of the worst evils of our century. An evil considered incurable sofar and I am proud to be able to contribute to scientific progress».