Researchers from Israel and Jordan are seeking a treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis in a new project, initiated by Israeli research company Pharmaseed. The project brings together a consortium of parties from Israel, Jordan, and Switzerland for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a variant of the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, also known as “Jericho buttons.” Leishmaniasis, which is transmitted by sandflies, is common in the Middle East. The mild manifestation of the condition causes sores that leave scars, while its more serious manifestations damage internal organs, and can cause death in patients with weakened immune systems. Four partners have been recruited for the project: the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, which has identified 70 plant extracts that may be relevant for fighting the parasite; the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, which will test the efficacy of the extracts on leishmaniasis samples; Pharmaseed, which is coordinating the project and is responsible for safety tests, and for assessing the potential efficacy of the extracts being tested; and Jordan University of Science and Technology Prof. Nabil Hailat, who will carry out advanced live and clinical trials (on humans) in Jordan, should these tests yield results.
Pharmaseed project founder Dr. Emmanuel Loeb explains, “50% of our work is for European companies that come to carry out tests here, in the Holy Land. This activity is growing, but the political reality is working against us, and it harms us and many other businesses. We wanted to carry out a joint project in order to solve the troubling problem, to improve regional dialogue, and also to show people overseas that good things happen here too,” he says.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 20, 2014
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