BG Negev raises $1m for neurodegenerative therapies

Ben Gurion University's technology transfer company has raised $1 million to develop therapies for neurodegenerative diseases from a US private equity fund.

BG Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd., the technology transfer company of Ben Gurion University of the Negev has raised $1 million to develop therapies for neurodegenerative diseases from a US private equity fund. The funding will support research by Prof. Esther Priel of the university's Department of Immunology and Microbiology.

Prof. Priel, Dr. Aviv Gazit (formerly of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), and Prof. Shimon Slavin, the head the Genetic Therapy Institute at Tel Aviv University, are creating new chemical molecules that block expression of telomere proteins in cells, including stem cells. The telomerase enzyme is linked to cells' inability to replicate, an important factor in aging. Changing the activity of the Telomere protein may intervene in the aging mechanism of cells. In 2009, Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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