Posted: May 25, 2009

Z-Cube and Yissum Research Development Company Cooperate on the Development of a Nanotechnology Drug Delivery System for the Treatment of Pain

(Nanowerk News) Z-Cube Srl, the corporate venture arm of Zambon Company SpA, and Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced today that they have entered into a license agreement for Z-Cube to develop and commercialize an innovative nanotechnology drug delivery system for the treatment of pain. The technology was invented by Professor Elka Touitou from the Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Medicine, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Under the terms of the agreement, Z-Cube has received the worldwide exclusive right to develop and commercialize the technology for pain applications and will sponsor a research program to be conducted by Prof. Touitou and her group. Z-Cube has also received the right to grant sublicenses. Yissum will receive license fees, milestones and royalty payments.
"We are pleased to partner with Z-Cube, a world leader in the commercialization of drug delivery technologies," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum. "Our novel drug delivery system has the potential to enable relief of both mild and severe pain quickly and efficiently."
The work of Prof. Touitou, a worldwide authority in the drug delivery field, focuses on the design of novel carriers for enhanced drug absorption and efficiency. Two start-up companies have been established and are active in the development of various novel pharmaceutical products that are based on her previously-developed innovative technologies.
“This innovative drug delivery system is a powerful tool enabling the development of improved medicines for the treatment of pain,” said Lorenzo Pradella, Ph.D., Business and Operational Development Director of Z-Cube. “Patients suffering from pain will benefit from this new approach that promises to generate upgraded and easier to use therapeutics.”
In 2007, the worldwide market for pain management products (excluding over-the-counter products) was approximately $ 4.2 billion, representing one of the largest pharmaceutical segments. The expectation is that the demand for prescription pain management products will continue to grow due to favorable demographics, increasing incidence of chronic pain conditions, and heightened awareness of physicians for the need to treat pain. Improved pain treatment includes not only the discovery and marketing of new chemical entities, such as pain killers, but also the development of new delivery systems devoted to reducing side effects, increasing safety and improving compliance.
About Yissum
Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $1.2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered 6100 patents covering 1750 inventions; has licensed out 480 technologies and has spun out 65 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel, Teva and many more.
About Z-Cube
Z-Cube is the corporate venture of Zambon Company S.p.A. focused on Drug Delivery System (DDS) exploitation. Z-Cube invests in and validates early stage innovative DDS with the potential to generate new products in selected therapeutic areas, with the opportunity to generate NewCos. Main sources are universities with significant research programmes in the area of life science and drug delivery as well as recently formed companies. Z-Cube combines an industrial profile with investment capabilities. A well recognized International Scientific Advisory Board and an established international financial network are two important assets. Z-Cube is among the investors in three start-up companies PharmEste Srl (Ferrara, Italy), SuppreMol GmbH (Munich, Germany) and ProtAffin Biotechnologie AG (Graz, Austria) that recently succeeded in closing second round of financing.
Source: Z-Cube (press release)
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