NewStem Ltd

Benvenisty Nissim, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

The Challenge

Drug resistance is a major cause for failure of cancer chemotherapy. In present clinical practice, resistance to chemotherapy can only be recognized after the first course of treatment has been completed, yielding no major clinical response. In nearly 50% of all cancer cases, resistance to chemotherapy already exists in the tumors before initiation of the drug treatment (innate resistance).  Treatment of patients with ineffective chemotherapy results in major health hazards, unnecessary suffering and is very expensive. It therefore would be of great value for patients, their physicians, and medical insurers, to identify resistance to chemotherapy prior to commencing treatment with antineoplastic substances.

The Solution

NewStem’s human Haploid Embryonic Stem Cells (hHESCs) technology is developed to enable informed, personalized selection of chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients.  Genetic screenings performed on these haploid cells (having only a single allele for each gene) provide a unique opportunity to identify genes responsible for resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. NewStem’s genetic screenings are creating a comprehensive library of mutated genes which confer resistance to individual chemotherapeutic agents. Integration of this proprietary database with the patient's tumor genetic profile should allow prediction of innate resistance to chemotherapy prior to commencing of treatment.

The Product

A report provided to the oncologist detailing the potential innate resistance identified in the patient's tumor profile, and a recommendation of specific chemotherapeutic agents to avoid.

Target Market

In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people died from the disease. NewStem will first focus on chemotherapies for cancers in which the resistance rate as well as the prevalence are high, such as breast cancer, which was the most common cancer in 2016.

Competitive Advantage

No effective chemotherapy resistance diagnostic is available today. There are companies who provide xenograft analysis of resistance to chemotherapies, however, their diagnosis is very costly and involves a lengthy process, and thus is not commonly used. Some bioinformatics companies that use genetic profiling combined with retrospective clinical data provide conclusions based on statistical analyses of a closed group and lack an individualized treatment approach nor have sufficient power to be employed in a wider population.

NewStem Ltd,is a spinoff off of Yissum The Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University and is based on research conducted by Professor Nissim Benvenisty of the Azrieli Centre for Stem Cells and Genetic Research of the Hebrew University.  

NewStem Ltd., announced a $4 million seed financing from a publicly-traded US-based company to be named NovelStem International Corp.

Company Website



Contact for more information:

Keren-Or Amar
VP, Business Development, Healthcare
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