Aurum Ventures Backs Hebrew U Diagnostic Platform

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Globes header - Aurum Ventures Backs Hebrew U Diagnostic Platform, Via Yissum Research Development Company, Aurum is investing $1.2 million in a new approach to early detection of disease.
Medical diagnosis

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced today that it has entered into a research agreement with Aurum Ventures MKI, the technology investment arm of Morris Kahn, for the development of a new diagnostic approach for early detection of multiple diseases by analyzing circulating DNA released from dying cells. Under the current agreement, Yissum is expected to receive $1.2 million funding. The novel technology will be presented at Yissum's booth during the IATI-BIOMED 2016 Conference, to be held on May 24-26, in Tel Aviv.

In a series of experiments involving hundreds of patients and control subjects, researchers developed a blood test that can detect multiple pathologies, including diabetes, cancer, traumatic injury and neurodegeneration, in a highly sensitive and specific manner. The novel method infers cell death in specific tissues from the methylation patterns of circulating DNA that is released by dying cells. The findings were reported in a paper published in March 2016 entitled "Identification of tissue specific cell death using methylation patterns of circulating DNA". The research was performed by a team led by Dr. Ruth Shemer and Prof. Yuval Dor from the Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Benjamin Glaser, Head of Endocrinology Department, of the Hadassah Medical Center.

Yissum CEO Yaacov Michlin said, "The novel technology represents an exciting approach that opens up vast possibilities in diagnostic medicine. The capital received from Aurum Ventures will be used for the development of a diagnostic tool for selected diseases, with a first priority to neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, as well as for developing the invention into a novel blood test for the early detection of multiple diseases at their asymptomatic stage."

"Prof. Dor and his team have developed a completely novel approach to early diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions that will enable detection of these diseases long before clinical signs of disease become evident," said Dr. Dan J. Gelvan, Managing Director of Life Science at Aurum Ventures. "This development is likely to become focal in future medicine and we are honored to have been offered the opportunity to join this path-breaking project."

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