For their work in developing these harbingers of a possible new generation of anti-cancer drugs, Dr. Arie Dagan and Prof. Shimon Gatt of the Department of Biochemistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School were among those receiving the Kaye Award for Innovation today during the 71st meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Board of Governors.
The molecules developed by Dagan and Gatt affected the metabolism of various sphingolipids and consequently those of cancer cells. Sphingolipids are a family of complex lipid molecules that are involved in signaling pathways that mediate cell growth, differentiation and death.
Several of the most active molecules developed by Dagan and Gatt are derivatives of ceramide (a member of the sphingolipid family). Ceramide induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a variety of cancer cells.
The natural levels of ceramide in cancer cells are generally too low to induce a therapeutic effect. In preclinical studies to date, various treatments with the synthetic molecules resulted in an elevation of ceramide levels in cancer cells, thereby leading to their death by apoptosis. In addition, these synthetic molecules appear to be synergistic with chemotherapeutic drugs.
Dagan and Gatt state that their studies demonstrated that their synthetic compounds reduced considerably the sizes of pancreatic, prostate and breast tumors with little or no effects on normal cells and tissues. The researchers see this as a precursor to the development of a new generation of anti-cancer drugs that induce, selectively, apoptosis only to tumorous cells. These drugs are expected to be highly effective while inducing fewer side effects than current anti-cancer drugs.
Prof. Shimon Gatt and Dr. Arie Dagan’s development of synthetic sphingolipid analogs as anti-cancer drugs is patented by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yissum licensed the technology to BioLineRx, a clinical stage drug development company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange,, for the development of these synthetic molecules as anti-cancer drugs.
The Kaye Innovation 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.For further information:
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles
19.10.2018 | University of Vienna
Less animal experiments on the horizon: Multi-organ chip awarded
19.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News