Yissum Introduces Novel Compound for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
News Jun 25, 2009
Yissum Research Development Company Ltd. has introduced a new compound for the treatment of osteoporosis. The new potential therapeutic was 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.
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.