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This Startup is Changing the Way Spinal Cord Injury Is Treated Around the World Hear from the CEO of NurExone Biologic Ltd, Israel's promising new start-up which aims to utilize innovative Exosome-based technology and smart delivery platforms in order to revolutionize the way spinal cord injury (SCI) is treated around the world

By Josh Horowitz

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On Wall Street and prominent global stock exchanges, the emergence of innovative start-up companies has become an Israeli phenomenon. Today, the "innovation nation" gains unprecedented international recognition as well as investment for a country the size of the (US) state of New Jersey. Based in the northern city of Haifa, one of the newest Israeli startups building upon the country's profound reputation is NurExone Biologic Ltd. The company, founded just last year, aims to change the way spinal cord injury (SCI) is treated around the world by utilizing exosomes as smart delivery platforms.

Over the past few decades, stem cells have become a significant interest for the scientific community as well as popular culture, and the preliminary results have been incredible. Now, stem cell research and therapy development are at an all-time high with accompanying experimental trials to apply decades of analysis into real-life medicinal practice. In regard to treating SCI, traumatic and non-traumatic, Stem Cells were tested on patients, which some of the patients have benefitted from the use of the stem cells, but due to various challenges, the treatment was not approved yet. However, NurExone promising exosome-based research proof of concept results, shown on animal, has to offer new treatment to SCI patients as well as same potential in traumatic brain injury.

NurExone is led by CEO Dr. Lior Shaltiel, who maintains an impressive background in biotech entrepreneurship, in addition to biomedical engineering, pharmacology and the advancement of smart delivery systems – all of which are vital components to the company's mission. The formula behind NurExone's solution is a two-prong strategy to concentrate exosome technology as the main fuel and practically treating SCI patients via a smart delivery platform. This combination, which is planned to medically transferred into the body through the nose, has a natural effect in targeting neuron damage. According to Shaltiel, "while many companies are using stem cells which release exosomes naturally and attempt to regenerate neurons through local injections, our loaded exosomes have the potential to be transferred into the body nasally – which is a considerable game-changer for the industry."

Furthermore, NurExone is equipped with an experienced Board of Directors, including from some of Israel's leading pharmaceutical and biotech brands listed on international stock exchanges such as Executive Chairman Ron Mayron of Teva (NYSE: TEVA) and Founder & Director Yoram Drucker of Pluristem (NASDAQ: PSTI) and Brainstorm (BCLI). These substantial decision-makers in the medical technology as well as the Israeli innovation scene is indispensable and attests to the potential of the offer of the company – from global operational management to strategic marketing to attracting major investors.

From its inception, NurExone's extensive research and ability to conduct experimental testing comes from the company's collaboration with top professors from two of Israel's elite universities – Technion (noted as Israel's MIT) and Tel Aviv University. As part of the company's Co-founders and Scientific Advisory Board, NurExone has partnered with Professor Daniel Offen, Head of Tel Aviv University's Neurology Lab, and Professor Shulamit Levenberg, the former Dean of Technion's Biomedical Engineering Department and Director of the Technion Center for 3D Bioprinting. The board also features Professor Nashson Knoller, MD, Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Sheba Hospital.

This month, NurExone also implemented notable moves to prepare the company for the subsequent stage – developing a promising product for the clinical phase. The company has received important approvals, which allow them to further their developing SCI treatments around the world. This significant advancement in the Israeli start-up's early focus on next stage financial efforts will play a principal role in persuading interested parties and serious investors to the table to help the company progress to become listed on international stock exchanges.

According to Shaltiel, "while it usually will take several years for companies during the research and development (R&D) phase to secure investment, we are progressing with our funding model due to the exponential potential of our product". At the moment, NurExone's plans to move towards entering the Toronto Stock Venture Exchange (TSXV), a Mecca-like market for penny stocks and new companies attempting to build an investor following for more global exchanges in the future.

In the world of start-up and innovation companies, a company's infrastructure, vision, and basis for research development is crucial to the success and longevity of the business. For NurExone, the company's successful Board of Directors, ambitious and experienced CEO Dr. Lior Shaltiel, together with the Scientific Advisory Board should not merely satisfy these prerequisites but galvanize the biotech community. While the company, after only a few months, has provided an important genesis for potential investors as well as medical professionals to learn from – it also shows the team's efficiency and maturity. In order for NurExone to "change how SCI is treated around the world," its next pragmatic step will be to analyze and optimize the product to take another step towards making its goal to treat SCI closer to becoming a reality.

Josh Horowitz

VC Investor. Passionate about Cybersecurity, BioTech & Cannabis

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