Matricelf is an Israeli biotechnology company in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. They are developing a platform for autologous matrix and cell implants for a wide range of medical conditions. Essentially, this means that their platform can 3D print personal tissues and organs. The function-tissue engineering allows them to create regeneration without the risk of implant rejection. Their technology can be used to cure a range of medical conditions including spinal cord injuries, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, myocardial infarction, and others. The tissue engineering market is valued at billions of dollars and Matricelf is proud to be the global leader in this field.

Today, Matricelf announced exciting news: Prof. Tal Dvir, co-founder, and his team at the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University have engineered 3D functional human spinal cord tissues (from human materials and cells) and implanted them in lab mice models with both recent and long-term (over a year) chronic paralysis. The way the technology works is that they use patient tissue samples and transform them into functional spinal cord implants via a process that mimics the development of the spinal cord in human embryos. After implantation and a rapid rehabilitation process, 100% of the lab models with acute paralysis regained their ability to walk, while walking was restored to 80% of those with chronic paralysis. All in all, these outcomes make the experiment a huge success. They are hoping that they will be able to start clinical trials in humans within the coming years, to help patients affected by spinal cord conditions get back on their feet. The company's preclinical program has already been discussed with the FDA. The success of this study also gives hope that the innovative technology will serve as a platform for other engineered tissues to be successfully used in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

Petri dish with tissue samples from the study. Credit: Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology

There are millions of people around the world who are paralyzed due to spinal injury, and there is still no effective treatment for their condition. Individuals injured at a very young age are destined to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, bearing all the social, financial, and health-related costs of paralysis. These patients are desperate to find a solution that can restore their motor, sensory and autonomic functions. The recent study is one step closer to making that a reality; to enable Matricelf to make spinal cord implant treatments commercially available for all those suffering from paralysis

Asaf Toker, MD, Matricelf CEO, stated, “This is a remarkable scientific achievement that represents the potential of Matricelf's innovative and unique technology to develop complete autologous neural implants for patients with spinal cord injury. The results of this study pave the way to the company's future animal studies toward human clinical trials.”

Matricelf was established in 2019 by Alon Sinai and Professor Tal Dvir of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine from Tel Aviv University, who serves as the company's Chief Scientist. The company has raised a total of $12 million in grant funding to date. Prof. Dvir’s team includes Ph.D. student Lior Wertheim, Dr. Reuven Edri, Dr. Yona Goldshmit, Prof. Irit Gat-Viks, and Prof. Yaniv Assaf.