Hadassah’s Technology Transfer Company Gains 3 Million in Investment
Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd., the Hadassah Medical Center’s technology transfer company, has announced that two of the leading biotechnology investment groups in Israel have donated $1.5 million each to ProtAb, its wholly owned portfolio company.
The investment by Pontifax Fund LP and Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. will be leveraged through grant funding to the company from the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel. Chief Executive Officer of Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ophir Shahaf notes: “We are proud of today’s significant increase in value, which also validates the strategic model underlying Hadasit Bio-Holdings--advancing companies towards clinical trials and linking up with leading groups in the field. Investments by substantial groups like Pontifax and Clal Biotechnology are solid proof of the quality of the science, technology, and huge potential of ProtAb and constitute a major milestone for further preclinical and clinical development by the company."
Mr. Shahaf further explains: “Hadasit Bio-Holdings’ goal is to promote the technologies and science found at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, starting from a scientist’s idea, through setting up a company and the initiation of clinical trials, and all the way to reaching agreements with strategic partners who can help turn the company and its products into a success.”
ProtAb plans to target this new funding for continued development of its lead antibody for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, notably inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. The company is initiating advanced stages of production of the antibody in preparation for toxicological studies, applications to regulatory agencies, and the commencement of clinical trials.
ProtAb’s innovative approach to the treatment of autoimmune diseases is based on activating natural anti-inflammatory pathways in the body. This contrasts with the standard approach today of suppressing inflammatory pathways, which has severe side effects and only limited effectiveness. The approach is an outgrowth of the research of Hadassah’s Prof. Yaakov Naparstek, Chair of Medicine at Hadassah-Ein Kerem and an internationally recognized expert in autoimmune diseases.