Tel Aviv University has been appointed by the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative (INNI) to lead a consortium on "Nanomedicines for Personalized Theranostics," a combined system of diagnostics and therapeutic treatments. This consortium of 11 laboratories will be dedicated to developing nano-sized drug delivery systems for the detection and treatment of various diseases. Eight of the labs are TAU-led, with additional participation from Hebrew University Jerusalem, Bar-Ilan University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
The $11.5 million project, designated a Focal Theology Area (FTA) within the INNI and scheduled to last five years, is poised to create a center of excellence in nanotechnology in Israel, says Scientific Director Prof. Dan Peer of TAU's Department of Cell Research and Immunology and Center for Nano Science and Nano Technology. The FTA will be supported by an international scientific advisory board, headed by internationally renowned Prof. Robert Langer of MIT.
The ultimate goal is to design a new class of drugs that can destroy faulty proteins in angiogenesis-dependent diseases that involve the growth of new blood vessels from existing vessels including cancer, infectious diseases and heart diseases and deliver these drugs safely into the body. Beyond the academic realm, the group aims to create spin-off companies based on licensed technologies they develop, creating the basis for a thriving biotechnology industry within Israel.
Building a successful industry
Although considered a beacon of research and development, the field of biotechnology in Israel has suffered drawbacks, both in academia and industry. Higher salaries lure the best minds abroad, and international companies have more private capital with which to sustain businesses.
"Israel has amazing intellectual resources, but we are constantly combating budget constraints. With this project, the idea is to create future te
|Contact: George Hunka|
American Friends of Tel Aviv University