Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hebrew University student developing drug to treat epilepsy, migraines, chronic pain

07.06.2002


Ph.D. candidate Nina Isoherranen wins Kaye Awards



Nina Isoherranen, a Ph.D. candidate at the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy, was awarded a Kaye Innovation Award this week for developing a new medication to treat epilepsy, migraine headaches, and chronic pain that does not cause birth defects in animal models, unlike other medicines currently used to treat epilepsy.

Ms. Isoherranen explained that 1% of the population suffers from epilepsy, a central nervous system (CNS) disorder that can cause violent seizures. As a result, people suffering from epilepsy take medication throughout their entire life to prevent seizures. Though several medicines have been developed to treat epilepsy, they are not effective on more than 30% of epilepsy patients and cause side effects.


David H. Eisenberg Professor of Pharmacy Meir Bialer, who is supervising Ms. Isoherranen’s work together with Pharmaceutical Chemistry Prof. Boris Yagen, said that they hope to sign a contract with a pharmaceutical company that will allow them to begin clinical trials on the new medication in the next few years. So far the medication has been successfully tested on laboratory animals.

Ms. Isoherranen, Prof. Bialer, and Prof. Yagen, whose areas of expertise include developing antiepileptic and CNS drugs, spent the past four years working on developing an antiepileptic drug that would be more effective and not cause the side effects common to existing antiepileptic drugs.

Ms. Isoherranen explained that valproic acid is one of the most common medicines used to treat epilepsy and is also popular for treating migraine headaches, chronic pain, and manic depression. However, if a woman takes valproic acid while she is pregnant, it increases the chance of a birth defect by 2.5. It also can cause liver problems and weight gain.

Ms. Isoherranen combined valproic acid with taurine, a substance found in the brain that helps to control epilepsy. The end product is more potent than valproic acid and apparently lacks the major side effects, she said.

At 27, Ms. Isoherranen is the youngest of this year’s Kaye Prize recipients. She immigrated to Israel four years ago, after completing a masters degree in analytical chemistry at the University of Helsinki, Finland.



The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University have been awarded 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 University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which will benefit the University and society.

Pictures available upon request. For further information, contact:
Heidi Gleit, HU foreign press liaison: tel. 972-2-588-2904; cell, 972-64-454-593; email heidig@savion.cc.huji.ac.il
Orit Sulitzeanu, HU spokeswoman: tel. 972-2-588-2811


Heidi J. Gleit | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>