Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Licensing arrangement reached for antiepileptic drug developed at Hebrew University

06.09.2006
A worldwide licensing arrangement for development, production and marketing of an antiepileptic drug created at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been signed by Shire Pharmaceuticals with Yissum, the Hebrew University’s technology transfer company. Shire is a multinational firm with operations in North America, Europe and the Far East.

The licensing is primarly for valrocemide. The efficacy of valrocemide as an antiepileptic drug has been demonstrated in a small clinical study. Shire intends to study the drug as a candidate for application in a number of central nervous system conditions.

Valrocemide was discovered by a team led by Meir Bialer, the David H. Eisenberg Professor of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy. Bialer, a leader in the discovery of antiepileptic agents, has authored over 180 publications in the area of pharmacokinetics, antiepileptics and central nervous system (CNS) drugs.

Epilepsy is a widespread neurological disease. Approximately one percent of the world’s population suffers from it, and annual sales of antiepileptic drugs in the U.S. amount to more than $3 billion per year.

There are several existing drugs on the market for patients with epilepsy. However, about one-third of the patients do not react positively to these treatments, and as a result they continue to suffer periodic epileptic seizures. There is a need, therefore, to develop new anti-epileptic drugs that will provide relief to patients who are not seizure-free or who suffer serious side effects from existing drugs.

The brain contains amino acids that serve as neurotransmitters, either excitatory or inhibitory neural transmissions within the central nervous system. Epilepsy is caused, among other reasons, by disturbances in the balance between these two functions: a rise in the level of the excitatory amino acids or a reduction in the level of the inhibitory acids.

Glycine is one of the inhibitory amino acids, and increasing its concentration in the brain has an antiepileptic effect. However, it is impossible to administer it to patients in its natural state, because it does not penetrate the blood-brain barrier that prevents medications from reaching their CNS target sites.

Prof. Bialer’s research team, which included his former doctoral student, Dr. Salim Hadad, worked to develop a glycine derivative which would penetrate the blood-brain barrier and would subsequently be cleared out of the body by a predesigned elimination pathway in order to avoid undesirable side effects which may be caused by toxic metabolic substances (metabolites).

The new CNS drug, valrocemide, is a combination of a known antiepileptic drug, valproic acid, and a glycine derivative, glycinamide. Valrocemide has been shown to be one of the most effective drugs among a large, analogous series of molecules which have been developed in Prof. Bialer’s laboratory.

Jerry Barach | alfa
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

Further reports about: Hebrew University acid antiepileptic patients

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>