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Yissum Announces Long-Term Multi-Project Research and License Collaboration with Roche

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Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the University, has announced that it has signed a long-term multi-project research and license collaboration agreement with Roche.

According to the terms of the agreement, Roche has selected six promising research projects in the fields of stem cells, biomarkers, and novel molecules for the treatment of metabolic diseases, initiated by Hebrew University researchers. The expected duration of each collaborative research project is 1-3 years.

Following successful completion of the different research plans, Roche shall have exclusive license to commercialize the results in consideration for the payment of transfer fees, milestone payments and royalties.

The chosen projects are:

A novel pathway and new strategies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, developed by Prof. Shmuel Ben-Sasson, Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, IMRIC, at the University’s Faculty of Medicine.

Novel technologies for minimizing the risk of tumor development and for decreasing the risk of immunogenic rejection when using stem cells to treat human diseases; and novel technologies for converting embryonic and induced stem cells into liver cells, developed by Prof. Nissim Benvenisty, Head of the Department of Genetics at the Hebrew University.

Identifying novel biomarkers for progressive stages of vascular complications (e.g. ischemic heart diseases) developed by Prof. Eli Keshet, from the Department of Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine.

Novel ways to differentiate stem cells into beta cell lineages for organ transplants by using proprietary scaffolds, developed by Prof. Eduardo Mitrani of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Faculty of Science.

Using cannabinoids, for the treatment of diabetes type I and type II, developed by Prof. Ruth Gallily of the University’s Department of Immunology and Cancer Research and Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Department for Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, both from the University’s Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Prof. Ehud Ziv and Prof. Itamar Raz from Hadassah Medical Organization and their colleagues.

"Yissum is proud of this extensive collaboration with Roche and believes that this alliance will advance research at the Hebrew University, and yield innovative products and new medical approaches that will provide benefits for patients suffering from several diseases," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum. Dr. Giora Yaron, Yissum Chairman, added “Close collaboration between multinationals and the academy is the way into the future. The scientific complexity of diseases requires the collaboration of the best minds in the industry and the academy. We see this agreement as a major step in this direction.”