Israel stem cell developer BrainStorm names Fiorino as CEO

TEL AVIV, June 8 Sun Jun 8, 2014 6:13am EDT

TEL AVIV, June 8 (Reuters) - BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics , a developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, has appointed Tony Fiorino as its chief executive officer.

Fiorino, 46, helped manage a healthcare equity fund and served as a consultant to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he founded EnzymeRx, a company that acquired a late-stage, pre-clinical biologic, where he led the development of the compound through clinical trials and subsequent sale to 3SBio.

"His diverse experience and successful track record attest to a deep understanding of the key aspects of biopharmaceutical development - clinical, regulatory, and financial," BrainStorm President Chaim Lebovits said in a statement.

In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the start of a mid-stage clinical trial of BrainStorm's adult stem cell treatment for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

On Friday the company said it enrolled its first patient for the Phase II trial at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The trial is also being conducted at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Worcester and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Last week BrainStorm presented interim results from its Phase IIa ALS trial conducted at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. It said the positive safety and preliminary efficacy results observed in this study are consistent with results observed in the company's previous Phase I/II trial.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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