Hadasit Newsletter – September 2019
Message from the CEO, Dr. Tamar Raz
As we look ahead to the New Year and back upon the last three quarters of 2019, we are happy to share our exciting advancements. At Hadasit, we are dedicating this year to pursuing numerous business opportunities related to Hadassah innovations and technologies and to advancing our public subsidiary, Hadasit-Bio Holdings (HBL). We are also developing new tools of engagement with start-up companies via Hadassah Accelerator – a newly established accelerator in collaboration with IBM that is currently finalizing its second cohort.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading and wish you Happy New Year.
Tamar Raz, CEO
Hadasit Portfolio Start-Up Company Nobio Receives FDA Clearance
Nobio, an advanced materials science company offering novel antimicrobial products and solutions, has received FDA clearance to market its advanced dental technology Infinix. These novel dental restoratives incorporate Nobio’s patented QASi (quaternary ammonium silica-dioxide) particle technology.
Development of this technology began at the Hadassah Medical Center and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, led by Prof. Ervin Weiss, who is currently Dean of the School of Dental Medicine at Tel-Aviv University. In 2015 Nobio licensed the technology and continued its development and commercialization.
Infinix marks a revolution in the field of composite restorations by maintaining restoration integrity and protecting against degradation by bacteria over time. Two other Infinix products using QASi technology are also pending FDA clearance – the Universal Composite, and the Universal Bond, which has an antibacterial cavity cleansing effect.
Hadasit Expands Collaboration in Immuno-Oncology and Liver Diseases
Reflecting the scientific leadership and cutting-edge innovations of its researchers, Hadasit recently initiated two collaborations with a global pharmaceutical company. The first agreement involves research by the head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy, Prof. Michal Lotem, Dr. Galit Eisenberg and their team, with respect to Prof. Lotem’s groundbreaking technology in immuno-oncology. As part of the collaboration, the company is harnessing its extensive expertise in biologics drug development and is working closely with the Hadassah team. A second strategic collaboration involves funding of research being carried out by the head of Hadassah’s Liver Unit, Prof. Rifaat Safadi, and his team, to develop a novel biological treatment for NASH and other associated liver diseases. We hope that the collaboration with both Hadassah groups will advance their promising pre-clinical research, ultimately leading to clinical-stage products that will benefit patients.
Hadassah Awarded Pilot Grants for Digital Health
As part of Israel’s digital health incentive initiative, hospitals are eligible to receive funding for testing and evaluating new digital technologies. Through Hadasit, Hadassah was awarded two such pilots, with total funding of 700K NIS for the hospital. The most recent pilot will examine the use of a blockchain-based genetics data research platform at Prof. Elpeleg’s Department of Genetics by Dr. Hagar Mor-Shaked, the head of the bioinformatics team.
Applications for pilot grants can be submitted twice a year (March & August). If you are considering the use of a new Israeli digital health system, it may be eligible for funding. Contact Ariel Rabin for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored Research by Industrial Companies via Magneton Grants
In 2019, for the first time, Hadassah received industrial funding via the lucrative Magneton grant program, funded by industry and the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA).
The first Magneton grant of NIS ~550,000 was received by Alpha Omega Engineering, working together with Hadassah’s Prof. Zvi Israel, Dr. David Arkadir and Dr. Muneer Abu Snineh, joining researchers from the Hebrew University and Sheba. They are developing a wearable device for the assessment of muscle rigidity, an important marker of Parkinson’s disease patient status.
The second Magneton of NIS 1.5M per year was awarded to Prudentix Ltd. for the development of a technology licensed from Hadasit and Yissum that regenerates hyaline cartilage and the underlying bone in osteochondral defects by using a recombinant Amelogenin protein. The technology, that can also regenerate the tooth attachment apparatus and skeletal ligaments, was developed by Dr. Amir Haze, Dr. Anat Blumenfeld and Prof. Dan Deutsch. This grant will allow the company and the researchers to develop the technology for clinical application.
About Magneton Grants – These grants are awarded by the IIA to Israel-based R&D companies to perform joint R&D in collaboration with academic institutions (universities and hospitals). The IIA provides 66% of the funds and the company provides the remaining 33% and is committed to sign a license agreement for the technology.
Magneton programs can fund up to NIS 3.4M for a period of two years. Submission deadlines are twice a year (June and December). Hadassah researchers with relevant technologies are welcome to contact Hadasit BD team (Ariel Rabin – email@example.com; Tal Almog – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Updates from Hadasit Bio Holdings (HBL)
HBL portfolio Company Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd., went public this year and is now traded on the Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as a dual listed company (ENLV). The company also raised $5.3 million.
Based on the technology of Prof. Dror Mevorach of Hadassah, Enlivex is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, developing ALLOCETRA™, a novel immunotherapy for preventing and treating complications associated with bone marrow transplants, organ failure associated with sepsis, and enablement of an effective treatment of solid tumors via immune checkpoint rebalancing.
An ongoing Phase Ib clinical study in patients with severe sepsis conducted at Hadassah showed a positive safety profile in the first six recruited subjects. A Phase II/III clinical trial in prevention of GvHD post bone-marrow transplantations is scheduled for Q1 2020.
HBL portfolio company Kahr Medical raised $10M during the last year, and is now raising a larger round to be concluded within the next few months. Kahr is developing a novel drug platform based on bi-functional, immunotherapeutic fusion proteins, targeting multiple cancer indications, and has recently signed a collaboration agreement with Roche .
Kahr’s proprietary technology, known as DSP (Dual Signaling Proteins), enables the construction of targeted biological drugs with two functional ends, which can simultaneously block and/or activate two reinforcing biological signals resulting in a synergistic outcome.
The company’s core technology is based on research by Prof. Mark Tykocinski, Dean of the Jefferson Medical School and Senior Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Prof. Michal Dranitzki-Elhalel, Head of Nephrology at the Hadassah Medical Center.