Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

CBD treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, and Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (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


To date, there is no effective treatment of liver diseases with the relatedHepatic-Encephalopathy symptoms. It is established thatCannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain function.

Hepatic-Encephalopathy occurs in:

  • 30-45% of patients with cirrhosis diseases.Minimal symptoms of Hepatic-Encephalopathy occur in 20-60% of patients with liver
  • 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.
  • Following treatments to lower ammonia production/absorption.
  • Following using medications to counteract ammonia effect on brain cell function.
  • Following using Devices to compensate liver dysfunction.
  • Following 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):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.


  • It has been shown to improve both liver and brain function in a mouse models of hepatic encephalopathy (in both acute and chronic models).
  • Method of administration: oral, parenteral, sublingual or intranasal is yet to be determined.
  • No side effects were noticed (FHF acute model)(BDL chronic model).
  • No toxicity in chronic administration.

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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