Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

AD4 for treatment for oxidatvie stress related diseases

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

The AD family are novel low molecular weight thiol antioxidants able to penetrate the blood brain barrier following systemic administration. AD4, the lead compound, was shown to be a potent free radical scavenger that protects cells against various pro-oxidants and neurotoxins and has been shown to be effective in the prevention and treatment in Parkinson’s disease (PD), Tardive Diskynesia (TD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) models.

Former responsible Tami Kfir

Project ID : 6-2000-278

Description of the technology

Novel approach using low molecular weight antioxidants


CNS, Cardiovascular, Inflammation, NAC-amide (AD4)

Development Stage

Successful toxicology studies completed for AD4

Patent Status

Patents filed in Australia and United States.


Sales of neurodegenerative drugs reached $18.5 billion in 2009 and are expected to increase 62 per cent to $29.7 billion by 2012.


  • The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2040, as a result of a growing ageing population, neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) will have overtaken cancer to become the world’s second leading cause of death, after cardiovascular disease. However, governments and industry have yet to make a major commitment to treating NDDs.

  • Maintaining the balance of oxidants/antioxidants determines the redox-state in the body. Lowering oxidative stress appears to be a valid approach for treating redox related diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, asthma, and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).

  • Current reducing reagents, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or N-acetylcysteine (NAC), are unable to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB).

  • This new compound, AD4, is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier.

  • Successful toxicology studies have been carried out by the well-known clinical research organization, Quintiles.

  • Studies have been carried out and describe its efficiency in animal models of Parkinson's, MS, haloperidol toxicity, macular degeneration, asthma, beta-thalassemia, and others.

Our Innovation

Low molecular weight reducing compounds that are able to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and provide treatment for neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), diabetes-related disorders, and ischemic head injuries by the relief of oxidative stress

Key Features

  • Unlike all previous drugs, such as NAC that is impermeable or vitamin E that remains in the membrane, the new compound can penetrate the cell membrane and be targeted into the cell.

  • AD4 is very active, is water soluble, and crosses the blood brain barrier.

  • AD4 is not toxic (up to 2gr/kg) because it is derived from natural amino acid.

  • It is significantly (>10-fold) more potent than NAC.

  • Results of animal trials for macular degeneration (AMD), asthma, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis are very successful and promising.

  • Toxicology studies for AD4 have been completed.

Development Milestones

  • Seeking funding for Phase I clinical studies and ongoing research, and industrial collaboration.

  • The laboratory holds enough of the compound for immediate use in testing any experimental model.

The Opportunity

  • Nervous system neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases as well as diabetes

  • Conditions of the peripheral tissues, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Project manager

Shoshana Keynan
VP, Head of Business Development, Healthcare

Project researchers

Daphne Atlas
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

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About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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