Drug, Cell and Device Therapy Development
Tel Aviv University boasts several drug candidates in advanced stages of drug/clinical development and a number of pipeline drug candidates in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, with two companies founded on original discoveries, and several important licensing deals.
The following is a sampling of drugs and therapies developed by Tel Aviv University neuroscientists:
- Davunetide, providing potent protection of nerve cells in a broad range of neurodegenerative models, protecting the neuroglial cytoskeleton and inhibiting Alzheimer’s-related tau pathology (Prof. Gozes), is now being tested in a phase II/III study of the tauopathy progressive supranuclear palsy. This placebo-controlled study, examining efficacy and tolerability, makes davunetide the most advanced drug candidate for this indication (Allon Therapeutics Inc.).
- BL-1020 for the treatment of schizophrenia, now in phase II of development at Bioline RX (Profs. Gil-Ad and Weizman).
- Circadin® for insomnia, developed by Neurim Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and marketed by Lundbeck and Teva (Prof. Zisapel).
- Novel agents against Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders linked to protein misfolding (Prof. Solomon) are now in advanced stages of development by Neurophage. A vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease (Prof. Solomon) has been licensed for development, as have inhibitors of Alzheimer’s-related plaque formation (Prof. Gazit).
- Stem-cell therapy for ALS has entered the clinical proof-of-concept stage at BrainStorm Ltd. (Profs. Melamed and Offen).
- Novel types of stem-cell therapy are being developed for brain disorders (Prof. Miguel Weil).
- Retinal implant neurochips are being developed to combat blindness (Prof. Yael Hanein).
- The concept of immunotherapy for conformational diseases is being developed and translated into novel therapeutic approaches for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This approach is now being developed by most big pharma companies, e.g. Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, who are in phase III trials with Prof. Solomon’s vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease.