New approach to treating vascular disorders wins prize for Hebrew University researcher

May 29, 2003

A novel approach to development of drugs that treat vascular disorders without the disadvantageous effects of existing medications has won a Kaye Innovation Award for a researcher at the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Abdullah Haj-Yehia, a graduate of the Hebrew University in both medicine and pharmacology, has been working for many years with nitric oxide-based compounds. Nitric oxide is the basic component in nitroglycerine, which has been used for some 130 years to ease heart pain. The disadvantage of nitroglycerine, explains Dr. Haj-Yehia, is that the body develops tolerance to it, thereby nullifying its effect, and it can cause cell mutations, leading to cancerous growth.

In his work with nitric oxide compounds, Dr. Haj-Yehia has developed superior formulations that do not have these detrimental effects, while retaining the beneficial, effects of relaxing blood vessels and also acting as an anti-oxidant. Over-oxidation in the vascular system is the process which leads to formulation of plaque within the blood vessels, thereby constricting the flow of blood, leading to blockages and ultimately heart attacks or stroke.

Cardiovascular disorders are the leading cause of death in Western society and are rapidly approaching this leading position worldwide, points out Dr. Haj-Yehia.

Oxon Medica Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in San Francsico, Calif., was founded to develop drugs based on Dr. Haj-Yehia's inventions. The Hebrew University's Yissum Research Development Company is a part owner of the company. Oxon Medica is currently actively working on developing a drug to deal with glaucoma. Other developmental work is aimed at new drugs to treat several other diseases, such as angina, erectile dysfunction, hypertension, asthma and diabetes.

Dr. Haj Yedhia,46, was born in Taibe, Israel, and today lives in Neve Shalom with his wife and four children. Neve Shalom is a mixed Arab-Jewish community west of Jerusalem. In addition to his work as a lecturer and researcher at the Hebrew University, Dr. Haj-Yehia also works as a physician in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. He is the winner of one of Israel's most prestigious awards, the Rothschild Prize.

The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University have been awarded for the past ten years. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards in 1994 to encourage faculty, staff, and students of the university to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which have benefited or will benefit the university and society. The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University were awarded Tuesday, May 27, during the 66th meeting of the University Board of Governors.
-end-


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Related Blood Vessels Articles from Brightsurf:

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
In a new study published today in Nature Chemistry, Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol's School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

Specific and rapid expansion of blood vessels
Upon a heart infarct or stroke, rapid restoration of blood flow, and oxygen delivery to the hypo perfused regions is of eminent importance to prevent further damage to heart or brain.

Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels
Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels that can be actively tuned to address subtle changes in the body after implantation.

Lumpy proteins stiffen blood vessels of the brain
Deposits of a protein called ''Medin'', which manifest in virtually all older adults, reduce the elasticity of blood vessels during aging and hence may be a risk factor for vascular dementia.

Cancer cells take over blood vessels to spread
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University researchers observed a key step in how cancer cells may spread from a primary tumor to a distant site within the body, a process known as metastasis.

Novel function of platelets in tumor blood vessels found
Scientists at Uppsala University have discovered a hitherto unknown function of blood platelets in cancer.

Blood vessels can make you fat, and yet fit
IBS scientists have reported Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) as a key driver that inhibits the accumulation of potbellies by enabling the proper transport of fatty acid into general circulation in blood vessels, thus preventing insulin resistance.

Brothers in arms: The brain and its blood vessels
The brain and its surrounding blood vessels exist in a close relationship.

Feeling the pressure: How blood vessels sense their environment
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Thbs1 is a key extracellular mediator of mechanotransduction upon mechanical stress.

Human textiles to repair blood vessels
As the leading cause of mortality worldwide, cardiovascular diseases claim over 17 million lives each year, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Read More: Blood Vessels News and Blood Vessels Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.