NextCell was founded in 2014 by CEO Dr. Mathias Svahn, board members professor Edvard Smith and Hans-Peter Ekre, and Dr. Lena Degling Wilkingsson. The company was originally called Cellaviva AB and it started Sweden’s first family saving stem cell bank. At the beginning of 2014, Diamyd Medical AB became one of the company’s principal owners, and in late 2014 the company was granted a license by Sweden’s Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO). The service for family saving of umbilical cord blood (hematopoietic stem cells or HSCs) was launched on the market in September 2015. In 2016 a decision was made to expand the operation and also conduct drug development and stem cell research, at which point the company changed name to NextCell Pharma AB.
What have been the milestones so far in your company development?
Cellaviva was the first stem cell bank in Sweden, launched in September 2015. The company expanded in 2016 to develop cell therapies and changed the name to NextCell Pharma. In 2017, NextCell was listed on Spotlight Markets and applied for a clinical trial with ProTrans, a stem cell therapy for treatment of diabetes type-1. Two clinical trials with ProTrans for treatment of diabetes is currently ongoing, ProTrans-1 (24 patients) and ProTrans-Repeat (18 patients). ProTrans has already shown statistically significant efficacy in patients treated with high and medium dose, as compared to patients treated with low dose. No safety concerns were raised in any of the doses evaluated.
What are your most important markets, segments and customers?
ProTrans is being evaluated as a treatment for type-1 diabetes in adults. Patients treated are 18-40 years old that recently have been diagnosed with diabetes. The payers for such a therapy may vary in different countries. Our ambition is that ProTrans will be reimbursed by the national health care, but it might also be the patient or an insurance company.
Europe is our primary market, followed by North America and East Asia.
Cellaviva is a stem cell bank offering services to parents to store stem cells for their baby and the family’s future medical need. In essence, a consumer service that is being offered to expectant parents in the Nordic countries.
Where do you see the company five years from now?
ProTrans will be approved therapy for adult patients diagnosed with diabetes type-1. Further clinical trials will be conducted in order to widen the label to include children.
NextCell is co-developing ProTrans for additional autoimmune diseases.
Cellaviva will continue to be the largest stem cell bank in the Nordic countries with a increased market penetration. The companies own clinical trial program as well as worldwide clinical research will increase public awareness, resulting in an increased demand.
What are your priorities within 2020/21?
Phase 2 clinical data from the randomized, placebo controlled, double blinded part of the trial will be available in Q3 2020. NextCell is now preparing for the next step in the clinical trial program in order to submit an application to the authorities for a pivotal trial in diabetes.
Why should one consider adding your company into their portfolio?
NextCell has two business areas, based on the same know-how, infrastructure and technology but with very different business models. Cellaviva is a fee for service, generating income since the launch in 2015; and ProTrans, a drug candidate with huge potential, already proven safe and with dose dependent efficacy.