Abigail Klein Leichman
October 19, 2022

Matricelf, the Israeli regenerative medicine company developing a first-of-its-kind implant to treat spinal paralysis, placed third in the 2022 Startup World Cup in San Francisco.

The world’s biggest startup competition, the Startup World Cup is sponsored by Silicon Valley-based Pegasus Venture Capital fund. This year’s event attracted some 17,000 applicants from about 70 geographical regions.

Matricelf beat out 50 companies to make it into the finals and was the only Israeli startup in the top 10. The others were from Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, United States, United Kingdom, China and Mexico.

The company’s core technology, developed in Prof. Tal Dvir’s regenerative biotechnology lab at Tel Aviv University, is a 3D-printed tissue implant made from the patient’s own cells.

The implant has enabled paralyzed lab mice to walk again and is hoped to provide a solution for humans suffering paralysis following traumatic injuries of the spinal cord.

Matricelf’s autologous implants also could help in the regeneration of body tissues and organs damaged due to a variety of diseases and medical conditions. Using the patient’s own cells as part of the implant is aimed to prevent rejection, a major stumbling block for any kind of transplanted tissue.

“It thrills me as the Chief Scientist of the company and the father of the technology to receive international recognition for the technology I have been working on for the past decade,” said Dvir at the Startup World Cup.

“There is no doubt that the transition from academia to industry is a challenge for us, and this recognition by the industry that we are in the top 3 of the most promising companies in the world is another milestone in my work to repair spinal cord and other diseases that are in development.”

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Jason Harris

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