Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Safe, multi-functional anti-inflammatory/anti-allergic drugs developed by Hebrew University researcher

A synthetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic family of drugs to combat a variety of illnesses, while avoiding detrimental side effects, has been developed by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher.

The researcher is Saul Yedgar, who is the Walter and Greta Stiel Professor of Heart Studies at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine.

Inflammatory/allergic diseases affect billions of people worldwide, and treatments for these conditions are a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry. The most common drugs currently used to treat these numerous diseases are steroids, which are potent but are associated with severe side effects. These include metabolic changes (weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes), organ-specific effects (glaucoma, cataracts, bone fragility), and even psychotrophic side effects (depression, psychosis).

For decades, alternatives, such as biological NSAIDs (non-steroidal alternative anti-inflammatory drugs) have been the focus of the pharmaceutical industry. The resulting drugs have been commercially successful, but have not produced genuine alternatives to steroids due to their limitations. Synthetic NSAIDs are less potent and have their own serious side effects, including cardiovascular disorders, stomach bleeding and respiratory disorders. The biological drugs are costly and, must be injected and have rare but very severe side effects.

Inflammatory/allergic diseases present different symptoms affecting different organs, such as skin inflammations (dermatitis, psoriasis); airway injury and allergy (asthma, cystic fibrosis, allergic rhinitis); osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; intestinal inflammation (ulcerative colitis, Crohn¡¦s disease); central nervous system inflammation (multiple sclerosis), as well as atherosclerosis and cancer metastasis.

What they have in common is that all of them share biochemical mechanisms. A key one among them is the action of an enzyme family (PLA2) that initiates the production of a cascade of pro-inflammatory mediators involved in the induction and propagation of the diverse inflammatory diseases.

In Prof. Yedgar¡¦s lab at the Hebrew University, he and his associates have designed and constructed an entirely novel synthetic generation of drugs that control the PLAƒ¢ activity and the subsequent cascade of pro-inflammatory mediators, thereby providing multi-functional, anti-inflammatory drugs (MFAIDs).

MFAIDs have shown excellent safety and were found efficient in treating diverse inflammatory/allergic conditions in animal models, using different ways of administration ¡V oral, rectal, intravenous, inhaled and injected. These conditions included sepsis, inflammatory bowel diseases, asthma and central nervous system inflammation.

In particular, in two clinical studies MFAIDs have been shown to be safe and efficient in treating contact dermatitis, when incorporated into skin cream, and allergic rhinitis, when administered as a nasal spray.

This platform technology has been exclusively licensed from the Hebrew University through the university¡¦s Yissum Technology Transfer Company to Morria Biopharmaceuticals PLC (a British company), which is currently developing these drugs to treat inflammatory diseases of the airways (hay-fever, cystic fibrosis), the skin (eczema), the eye (conjunctivitis) and the gut (colitis, Crohn¡¦s disease).

For his groundbreaking work, Prof. Yedgar was one of the winners of this year¡¦s Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University. The Kaye Awards have been given annually since 1994. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards to encourage faculty, staff and students of the Hebrew University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which will benefit the university and society. The awards were presented this year during the annual meeting of the Hebrew University Board of Governors.

(Photo of Prof. Yedgar available via e-mail upon request)


Jerry Barach, Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
02-5882904 (international: 972-2-5882904)
Orit Sulitzeanu, Hebrew University Spokesperson
02-5882910, mobile: 054-882-0016

Jerry Barach | Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>