Among Hadassah’s promising start-ups are:
Clinical trials at the Biopark’s CellCure Neurosciences Ltd., on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), directed by Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff, world-renowned head of Hadassah’s Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) Research Center. AMD, where pigmented cells of the retina break down and die, is a main cause of vision loss in people over 50. Working with Prof. Eyal Banin, Director of Hadassah’s Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration, Prof. Reubinoff has created unique retinal pigment cells from hESCs and successfully halted damage to the retina in rats by injecting the cells into their eyes.
· Hadassah Liver Specialist Prof. Yaron Ilan has initiated two public companies. One is Exalenz, which produced a noninvasive device to accurately assess liver function in people of all ages merely by having them breathe into the device. The other is Immuron, which produces antibodies named Travelan from cows for the treatment of travelers’ diarrhea. Clinical trials are in process using Travelan to combat liver disease and Type 2 diabetes.
· Internal Medicine Specialist Prof. Yaakov Naparstek’s research has led to the start-up, Verto, which is developing a membrane to filter out damaging antibodies that cause lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disorder affecting many bodily systems, mostly in young women. In addition, Prof. Naparstek, along with Hebrew University Biochemist Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz, developed a new delivery system for corticosteroids to better treat inflamed arthritic joints.
· Research by Prof. Dror Mevorach, Director of Hadassah’s Center for Research in Rheumatology and Chairman of Internal Medicine Department B at Hadassah-Ein Kerem, has led to the establishment of Enlivex, which fights graft-versus-host-disease, the main cause of death in cancer patients who receive bone marrow transplants.
As Mrs. Moskowitz comments: “These start-up names are currently unfamiliar to the general public, but in the future, their innovations may become medicine’s first-line treatments for diseases and a boon to those who suffer from them.”