Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Novel Therapeutic Target (CD48) for Allergic Conditions (Asthma)

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

Summary of the technology

Diagnostics_ CD48 is involved in chemokine expression and eosinophil recruitment. Therefore, CD48 probably has an important role for orchestrating innate and adaptive responses in allergic lung inflammatory responses.
patent only in US
Babyseed loan Sep 2008 36,000
Nofar application 01/12/13 - with J&J
Project ID : 12-2007-1731

Description of the technology


  • Asthma is the most severe among the chronic allergic diseases since it can eventually lead to death. Public attention in the developed world has recently focused on asthma because of its rapidly increasing prevalence.

  • Currently, there is no specific marker for the detection of asthma. The development of a kit using the soluble form of CD48 as the specific marker may provide fast and easy diagnosis tool and an objective evaluation marker of drug treatment effectiveness.
  • CD48 is a surface-marker molecule present in white blood cells.
  • CD48 was found to be a key molecule in allergic conditions, particularly in allergic airway inflammations like allergic asthma and nasal polyposis.
  • Anti-CD48 agents that block CD48 the stimulatory pathway and inhibit the activity and/or expression of CD48, are excellent candidates for treatment of allergic conditions.
  • CD48 may be secreted by the cell upon cell activation. It is found in the sera of asthmatic patients and can serve as an easy biomarker for disease detection.

The Innovation

  • The finding that CD48 is a key molecule in allergic airways conditions makes CD48 a possible target molecule in the treatment and diagnosis of allergic airway inflammation such as asthma.
  • The proposed therapy for asthma involves administration of therapeutically effective amounts of an anti-CD48 agent, which blocks CD48 stimulatory pathway and inhibits the activity and/or expression of CD48.
  • The Diagnosis using CD48 is based on the determination of CD48 level of expression in serum/plasma and also on white blood cells.


Anti-CD48 agent blocks CD48 stimulatory pathway and inhibits the activity and expression of CD48:The revealing of the role of CD48 in allergic conditions paved the way to using anti-CD48 agents to treat allergic conditions and to using determination of CD48-level as an important and easy to perform diagnostic tool.

Following the identification of CD48 as an allergen-induced gene in allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation, successful trials in relevant murine models showed that neutralization of CD48 attenuates lung inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, mucus production and smooth muscle thickening in the lung – all demonstrating the therapeutic and the diagnostic potentials. Studies with human samples from asthmatic patients have shown significant increase of CD48 in serum[i], eosinophils neutrophils and monocytes .

Project manager

Keren-Or Amar
VP, Business Development, Healthcare

Project researchers

Francesca Levi-Schaffer
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
School of Pharmacy- Institute for Drug Research

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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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