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THE AMAZING DOCTOR WHO WAS PART OF A TEAM WHO HELPED INVENT COPAXONE & REBIF & IS NOW FOCUSING ON STEM CELLS AT 75


Six months after his 75th birthday, after teaching generations of young graduate and post-doctoral students at the Weizmann Institute of Science and with a wife, four children and 12 grandchildren, one could expect Prof. Michel Revel to sit back and enjoy life. Yet, the Frenchborn, internationally acclaimed molecular geneticist, who invented a major drug to treat multiple sclerosis used around the world and received the Israel Prize, EMET Prize and other major awards, has his eyes fixed on the future.


He is founder and chief scientist of Kadimastem, a three-year-old biotech company based in the Weizmann Science Park on the Ness Ziona-Rehovot border devoted to industrial applications of human embryonic stem cells. By testing therapeutic efficiency in functional human tissues, it is performing early drug-toxicity testing instead of using rodents in the lab for the discovery of new drug compounds in his and other labs for the devastating neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Aimed at promoting regenerative medicine (the development of tissues to replace those that are diseased), the company aims to produce pancreatic islets that produce insulin from pluripotent stem cells and implant them into the human body to cure type 1 and even type 2 diabetes. The main problem in reaching a regenerative medicine solution to diabetes, for example, is perfecting an encapsulation technique to prevent the patient’s immune system from attacking the implanted cells and ensuring that the right amount of the hormone is secreted according to blood glucose levels. Pluripotent stem cells may also be used to create new tissues to cure other devastating diseases. Cellcure, an israeli embryonic stem cell company created by Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff, aims at treating macular degeneration, which is a major cause of age-related blindness.
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