Technologies

Novel Beta-Carotene derivatives -Therapy for The Prevention and Treatment of Autism

Type: Pharmaceuticals
Sector: Neurology

Need:
Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder characterized by high heritability and considerable genetic and clinical heterogeneity. The prevalence of autism is increasing worldwide and is estimated at between 0.5–2.0% (for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) it is 1 in 68 children in the United States). The behavioral phenotype is distinguished by impairment in social interaction and communication as well as restricted and stereotyped behaviors and interests. Drugs used to treat patients with the disorder are mostly symptomatic with limited efficacy.
Oxytocin is a hypothalamic hormone that plays a role in social behavior and bonding by enhancing affiliative behavior and improving social cognition. Autism-affected individuals are characterized by lower plasma oxytocin and it has received considerable attention as a potential treatment for social deficits in ASD. However, oxitocin administration may cause some toxic effects Therefore, safer oxytocin modulators are needed.

Innovation:
Novel compounds that regulate oxytocin signaling for the prevention and treatment of autism in predisposed families. Thecompoundsarepotent derivative of a safe natural occurring compound.
Findings:
An extensive proof of concept in autism mouse modelshowed a substantial behavioral improvement (as tested in multiple types of tests) was detected when pregnant mothers or their pups were treated with the new compounds.

Competitive advantage:
The innovation has a potential for treating a large market that is underserved with treatment for autism-associated irritability.

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Researcher/s:

Prof. David Mankuta

Contact Info:

Tal Almog