Four Researchers of the Faculty of Medicine will Received Kaye Award 2014
Prof. Simon BenitaInstitute for Drug Research (IDR)School of Pharmacy-Faculty of Medicine The Invention:Development of a novel drug nano-delivery platform for switching from intravenous to oral administration Dr. Taher NassarProf. Benita's Lab Oral drug delivery being convenient and patient friendly, is one of the most desirable administration routes and will most likely continue to dominate the drug delivery market in the future. Docetaxel, a potent anticancer drug, elicits severe side effects following intravenous administration. Furthermore, oral docetaxel absorption is prevented by the biochemical barriers in the intestine. An oral formulation of docetaxel nanocapsules (NCs) embedded in microparticles was developed and elicited higher plasma docetaxel concentrations than intravenous administration of the commercial product. These unexpected results were explained by the penetration of the docetaxel NCs within the enterocytes, circumventing the barriers, where their coating was reinforced prior to reaching, intact, the circulation via the lymphatic system. The oral formulation significantly improves docetaxel anticancer efficacy. This delivery concept has potential for clinical translation, allowing docetaxel chemotherapy to be switched from intravenous to oral delivery. Similar results were obtained for lopinavir, a potent antiviral drug active in HIV-infected patients, mainly children. Finally, imagine oral insulin, growth hormones, peptides equivalent to respective injectable marketed drugs … patient benefits will be huge and the financial potential will be very promising for the investors and the Hebrew University.Prof. Michal BaniyashSchool of Medicine-IMRIC-Immunology and Cancer ResearchThe Invention: Novel prognostic/diagnostic biomarkers for detecting the immune status of patients suffering from diseases characterized by chronic inflammation and associated immunosuppression Future royalties from sales and exit fee are expected. In addition, the university will also benefitfrom IMPRODIA-mediated funding that will enter to prof. Baniyash lab's budget. Yotam Bar-OnStudent ofProf. Ofer MandelboimThe Invention: Development of novel antibodies for the treatment of influenza infectionsIn coordination with Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University, a patent was filed (Yissum reference #3803 “Neurminidase and Nkp46 as a treatment against influenza infection”), and we are currently working on generating cross-reactive anti-influenza antibodies that will recognize most of the influenza strains known today. This project is fully supported by the “Kamin” program of the Israeli Ministry of Economy (Budget #0394568), which invested 960,000 NIS in our project in the past two years (profiting the Hebrew University). We are currently developing the plan for continuing the collaboration with the “Kamin” program in future years.Currently there are no general anti-influenza antibodies that are used to fight influenza infection. In addition, there is no general immune-based treatment against all influenza infections. The technology we present here may lead to the development of new and improved anti-flu drugs with extensive marketing potential and potential profit for the Hebrew University. For instance, the most common anti-flu drug (Tamiflu) is one of the best selling drugs in the U.S. with revenue of $392,115,000 in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2013). Potentially interested commercial entities include companies such as Bioline, biotech incubators or startups in the field (NasVax), Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and financial investors in Israel.