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Posted: December 20, 2007
Yissum Spins-Off Nanolymf to Advance Breakthrough Liver-Bypassing Oral Drug Delivery Technology
(Nanowerk News) Yissum Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced the formation of Nanolymf, a biotechnology start up company dedicated to advancing a nanotechnology controlled release drug delivery platform that increases the bioavailability of orally administrated lipophilic drugs. Nanolymf was founded as a subsidiary of Shizim Ltd., a leading group of life science companies in Israel.
Nanolymf's technology was developed by Prof. Simon Benita at the Hebrew University's School of Pharmacy and is exclusively licensed from Yissum. Per the terms of the agreement, Nanolymf has acquired exclusive rights and Yissum will receive royalties, sublicense fees, and an equity stake in Nanolymf.
Nava Swersky Sofer, CEO of Yissum stated, "The ability to deliver lipophilic drugs orally while bypassing specific potent barriers in the intestine and the liver carries tremendous potential. Prof. Benita, a seasoned inventor and entrepreneur and the founder of Novagali SA, one of Yissum's most promising spin-offs, has once again demonstrated his ingenuity in developing a novel mechanism addressing many unmet medical needs. Shizim, headed by Yossi Bornstein and encompassing, among its holdings, one of the leading clinical research organizations in Israel and the representation of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, is an excellent partner for launching this new company."
Lipophilic drugs are poorly soluble in water, seriously limiting their bioavailability and clinical efficacy. In addition, when administrated orally 25% of these sensitive drugs cannot be absorbed because they activate an intestinal pump barrier and are metabolized in the intestines and liver. Therefore, currently many drugs present limited oral bioavailability or else are injected. Nanolymf developed a breakthrough controlled release drug delivery system that is able to bypass intestinal and liver metabolic filters, resulting in increased bioavailability following oral administration, without any alteration of the drug molecules. This unique system allows changing the route of administration of highly lipophilic drugs from injectable to oral with high bioavailability and low side effects without affecting the normal physiological activity of the metabolic filters. The patented technology was successfully tested on animals, resulting in 2.4 times higher bioavailability of the model drug - Tacrolimus - in large animals, and is now ready for starting clinical trials on humans.
Yossi Bornstein Nanolymf's Founder, CEO and Chairman added, "We are very excited with the potential of Nanolymf's technology to offer a significant breakthrough in the oral administration of many drugs and encouraged by the extraordinary pre-clinical results."
To date, Nanolymf has raised approximately $500,000 from private investors and is seeking to raise an additional $2M to fund initial clinical studies.
Yissum was founded in 1964 to protect the Hebrew University’s intellectual property and commercialise it. $1 Billion in annual sales are generated by products based on Hebrew University technologies licensed out by Yissum. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered 5000 patents covering 1400 inventions; licensed out 400 technologies and spun out 60 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel, Teva and many more. For further information please visit www.yissum.co.il.
Nanolymf Ltd., a subsidiary of Shizim Ltd. a holdings group, is dedicated to change the route of administration of many highly lipophilic drugs from injectable to oral with high bioavailability and low side effects. The company has developed a breakthrough controlled release drug delivery system that is able to bypass intestinal and liver metabolic filters, resulting in increased bioavailability following oral administration, without any alteration of the drug molecules. For further information please visit www.shizim.com.
Nanolymf's senior management team includes Yossi Bornstein, CEO and Chairman and co-founder of Nanolymf. Mr. Bornstein is a highly respected entrepreneur with an outstanding record in the pharmaceutical industry. He was the General Manager of Bristol-Myers Squibb in Israel. He is the founder and owner of the Shizim Group. Mr. Bornstein served as the Biotechnology Committee Chairman of the United States-Israel Science & Technology Commission (USISTC); consultant for the United States-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF); founder and committee member, of the Israel Life Science Industry Organization (ILSI); and founder of the Israel Technology Transfer Organization (ITTN).
Professor Simon Benita, Chief Scientist and co-founder of Nanolymf, is a well known researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was granted the prestigious AAPS Fellows 2006 for professional excellence and outstanding scientific contribution as one of the world's leading researchers and authorities on polymeric microparticulate and lipid-based drug delivery systems, with a proved commercialization record. Prof. Benita is the founder of Novagali Pharma.