The company will invest SEK 11.5 million for the establishment of a commercial cord blood bank in Sweden for private family saving of umbilical cord blood and other sources of stem cells.
According to Diamyd, the intention is also to collect and make available stem cells from umbilical cord tissue for research purposes in order to advance the fields of stem cells and regenerative medicine, including research within type 1 diabetes.
“With this investment we establish a foothold in the expansive fields of stem cells and regenerative medicine,” says Peter Zerhouni, President and CEO of Diamyd Medical. “From a financial point of view the risk is limited given the many examples of established private cord blood banks in other countries.”
The new company will be capitalized with SEK 14 million in total. Diamyd Medical will receive preference shares corresponding to 46 percent of the new company and have board representation. Head of the new venture will be Hans-Peter Ekre, one of the founding partners, with prior experience as R&D director and entrepreneur from KabiPharmacia, Astra and Karolinska Development.
“We have identified a demand for family cord blood banking in Sweden and think the time is right to set up a company that can offer this service as well as facilitating research in an area which holds much promise”, says Hans-Peter Ekre. “We are convinced that the consortium we have formed with Diamyd Medical and Karolinska Institutet Holding AB will strongly contribute to the success of the project.”