Teva, Technion To Collaborate On Cancer, Neurobiology Research
Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is partnering with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for research into new immunotherapy methods to treat cancer and diseases of the nervous system.
The partnership is part of the Teva Academia project, where the Israeli pharmaceutical giant collaborates with leading Israeli institutions on R&D in the medical field. In November, Teva announced separate partnerships with Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Weizmann Institute of Science for drug R&D with a focus on cancer treatments.
In this latest partnership, research teams from Teva and the Technion been working on a joint study to test the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments using antibodies or cellular therapy in unique models of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and migraines. The study combines advanced technologies to develop smart drug carriers that can reach the brain or cancerous tumors; activate relevant areas in the brain and examine their effect on the nervous periphery and immune system, and; study the effect of the microbiome (the bacterial environment that exists within the human body) on the development of Parkinson’s disease, the Technion and Teva said in a press statement. The projects entail a combination of antibody and protein engineering, as well as advanced computational analyses on the immune and bacterial systems.
So far, Technion and Teva researchers have initiated six joint projects in recent months as part of the research collaboration. The Israel Innovation Authority, the government’s tech investment arm, provided three grants to Technion researchers that form part of the partnership.
In addition, Teva selected eight outstanding Technion students for its national student forum known as “The National Forum for Bio-Innovators by Teva.” The forum includes scholarships and professional and personal training for students and their supervisors to connect them to the pharmaceutical industry.
According to Dr. Dana Bar-On, project leader and director of academic relations at Teva’s Global R&D Department, “the collaboration with the Technion is one of the key building blocks of Teva’s academic relations program – in Israel and around the world.”
“We believe the projects will advance in the coming years and some of them will be able to enter Teva’s future pipeline,’ she added.
Technion Vice President of Research Prof. Jacob (Koby) Rubinstein said he welcomes the collaboration and is “convinced that it will lead to innovative developments in pharma for the benefit of all mankind.”