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Biopharmaceutical Development Company Wins Hebrew U Award

BioLineRx awarded for its treatment project of type 1 diabetes

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: June 14th, 2012 in Health » Israel

Biopharmaceutical Development Company Wins Hebrew U Award

BioLineRx, an Israeli biopharmaceutical development company, announced yesterday that it won the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s prestigious Kaye Innovation Award for research fundamental to its EDP 10 project for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, according to a press release.

The research was performed by Dr. Chamutal Gur, a physician at the Hadassah Medical Institute under the supervision of Professor Ofer Mandelboim of the Hebrew University Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hadassah Medical School.

Gur studied the role of Natural Killer cells in autoimmune diseases, focusing on the function of the NKp46 killer receptor in the development of type 1 diabetes. She and her colleagues showed that a protein receptor called NKp46 present on Natural Killer cells has a critical role in the development of diabetes in mice, and that blocking the receptor almost entirely prevented the development of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes usually appears in children and adolescents, resulting from auto-immune destruction of the pancreatic cells, producing insulin and leading to a high level of sugar in the blood and urine. The current treatment is life-time administration of insulin, usually through injection.

BioLineRx’s EDP-10 project is aimed at characterizing and developing efficient inhibitors of NKp46 in order to prevent and possibly treat type 1 diabetes.

“Type 1 diabetes is a highly prevalent autoimmune disease,” said Dr. Kinneret Savitsky, CEO of BioLineRx. “Millions of people throughout the world suffer from this disease and need to inject insulin on a regular basis. We hope that our research will help to advance the EDP 10 molecules as a potential treatment for this debilitating disease.”

In addition to Professor Mandelboim, EDP-10 is also being developed in collaboration with Professor Yaacov Naparstek, Chairman of Medicine at Hadassah University Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine, as well as Professor Angel Porgador and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University.

The Kaye Awards have been given out annually since 1994 to a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who has developed innovative methods and inventions with commercial potential that will not only benefit the university, but society as well.

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