July 5, 2009 A Drug to Treat Heart Disease is Developed at CardiAmit, the first company established by the Alfred Mann Institute at Technion

The Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at the Technion (AMIT) has established its first company – CardiAmit, which is developing a new drug to protect the heart muscle.

The drug is based on a new cardioprotective molecule that has the ability to protect heart cells against damage and death resulting from ischemia – for example, damage caused by heart attacks. The potential world market for this drug is estimated to be billions of dollars annually.

The development of the molecule as a drug protecting heart muscle started in 2004 and was carried out by Prof. Ofer Binah, Prof. Moussa Youdim (who together with Prof. John Finberg developed Teva’s drug Azilect for treating Parkinson’s disease), Prof. Zaid Abassi and Dr. Yaron Barac, all of whom are from the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. Two years ago, the project joined the Alfred Mann Institute at the Technion and since then, has progressed significantly.

The drug’s efficacy was demonstrated in a number of animal models, among them models that simulate heart attacks with or without catheterization, cardiac congestion heart failure and cardiac damage caused by chemotherapy. In all the models that were tested, the molecule demonstrated impressive results and decreased the cardiac damage by tens of percentages. In safety tests carried out in the Technion’s Faculty of Medicine and in other labs and institutes in Israel and abroad, specializing in such tests, no side effects or damages were observed.