Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

CBD treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, and NASH

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

Summary of the technology

A method for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy comprising administering to a subject in need of such treatment an effective amount of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol. Small molecule

keywords: hepatic, encephalopathy
Originally: 12-2007-1885, 12-2007-1878 12-2006-577- 3 projects combined into one
Project ID : 12-2006-577

Description of the technology

Prof. Yaron Ilan, Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism and Liver Unit Hadassah Hospital

Cannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain functions


Nutrition and Metabolism, Treatment, Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, Liver Steatosis.

Development Stage

Proved mice model experiments

Patent Status

PCT application- WO 2008/050344 A2

Incidence (U.S)

1.87/1000 patients. in hospital admission.

The Need

To date, there is no effective treatment of liver diseases with the related

Hepatic-Encephalopathy symptoms.


  • Hepatic-Encephalopathy occurs in:
  • 30-45% of patients with cirrhosis.
  • 10-50% of patients with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.
  • Minimal symptoms of Hepatic-Encephalopathy occur in 20-60% of patients with liver diseases.
  • 30% of patients dying of end stage liver diseases experience significant Hepatic-Encephalopathy.
  • NAFLD is estimated to occur in one-third of the general population in the US.
  • Strategies to lower ammonia production/absorption.
  • Medications to counteract ammonia effect on brain cell function.
  • Devices to compensate liver dysfunction.
  • Liver transplantation.

Our Innovation

  • Treatment of liver disease(Cirrhosis/steatosis) and hepatic encephalopathy with cannabidiol or capsaicin and/or cannabinoids (THC/HU308) / endocannabinoids ( 2-AG).
  • Method of administration: oral, parenteral, sublingual or intranasal is yet to be determined.
  • Has been shown to improve both liver and brain function in a mouse models of hepatic encephalopathy(Both acute and chronic models).
  • No side effects were noticed (FHF acute model)(BDL chronic model).
  • No toxicity in chronic administration.

We have shown in mouse experimental models that cannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain functions. We suggest a treatment modality based on the following mechanism/s: blocking the CB1 receptor and stimulating the CB2 receptor by 2AG or HU308 or THC (for hepatic encephalopathy) and/or the TRPV1 receptors by capsaicin and/or the 5HTIA receptors by Cannabidiol . Thus, inducing therapeutic effect which is mediated through effects in the liver and brain.

The Business Opportunity

We are presently seeking to raise 0.5M.US$ to complete efficacy and safety studies in animal models and to Progress to preliminary human studies (safety and proof of concept) once pre-clinical safety has been determined .

Researcher’s information:

Project manager

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare

Project researchers

Elliot Berry
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
School of Public Health

Yaron Ilan

Yosefa Avraham
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
School of Public Health

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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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