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Yissum introduces novel compound for the treatment of osteoporosis
Invention to be presented at ILSI BioMed Israel 2009 conference

June 9, 2009
ILSI-Biomed Israel 2009

JERUSALEM - Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduced today a new compound for the treatment of osteoporosis. The new potential therapeutic will be presented by Professor Itai Bab from the Bone Laboratory, Institute of Dental Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Tuesday, June 16 at the Technology Transfer Session of the ILSI Biomed Israel 2009 conference, to be held at the David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Professors Itai Bab and Raphael Mechoulam, from the School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, invented a new drug candidate for the treatment of osteoporosis that both inhibits bone resorption and stimulates bone formation. It activates the cannabinoid receptor (CB2), which is involved in the regulation of bone remodeling and in slowing down and rescuing bone loss. Importantly, this drug has no psychoactive effects. The new drug was successfully tested in preclinical trials.

'As our society continues to age, osteoporosis is becoming a major concern and impairing the life quality of millions,' remarked Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum. 'Unfortunately, the battle against this disease has not yet been won. The new invention helps answer an urgent need for drugs that can encourage bone formation, bringing us a big step forward toward conquering this disease.'

Osteoporosis is characterized by an imbalance between bone formation and resorption resulting in net bone loss thus weakening the skeleton and increasing susceptibility to fractures. Most anti-osteoporotic drugs in clinical use are anti-resorptive and used mainly to prevent postmenopausal bone loss. Use of Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) (1-34), the only clinically approved bone anabolic agent, is restricted to 18 months, because of bone cancer risk and possible development of tolerance. Therefore, this new drug, which has a bone anabolic effect with potentially fewer side effects, answers an unmet medical need.

Osteoporosis is the most prevalent degenerative disease in developed countries. The number of patients is expected to increase to 50 million in 2015. One in three women and 1 in 5 men over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures. In fact, the combined lifetime risk for the common osteoporotic fractures is approximately 40%, equivalent to the risk for cardiovascular disease. Osteoporosis takes a huge personal and economic toll. In Europe, the disability due to osteoporosis is greater than that caused by most cancers. The global market for drugs for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is approaching $10 billion and is growing rapidly.

About Yissum

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $1.2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered 6100 patents covering 1750 inventions; has licensed out 480 technologies and has spun out 65 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel, Teva and many more. For further information please visit

Yissum Ltd.
Tsipi Haitovsky, +972-52-598-9892
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