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Scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have announced a possible breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.

BGN Technologies, BGU’s technology transfer company announced Monday together with The National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) that a research group led by Prof. Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of the Department of Life Sciences and the NIBN, is developing a novel molecule for the treatment of cancer, which has shown not only inhibition of growth of cancer cells, but also the ability to reprogram the cancer cells back to normal-like cells.


According to a press release, the treatment is based on preventing the expression of VDAC1, a protein that is overexpressed in many solid and non-solid tumors.

Shoshan-Barmatz explained that VDAC1 serves as the gate-keeper of the mitochondria, organelles that control cell metabolism, and is therefore crucial for supplying the high energy demands that characterize malignant cells, adding that studies have shown that silencing VDAC1 expression leads to inhibition of cancer cell growth, both in vitro and in mouse models of glioblastoma , lung cancer, and triple negative breast cancer.

“Although still in early stages, we are excited with our results that demonstrate the potential of this novel molecule for cancer treatment,” said Prof. Shoshan-Barmatz.

Dr. Ora Horovitz, Senior Vice President of Business Development at BGN Technologies commented, “We are now seeking partners for the further development and advancement of this promising patented treatment towards the clinic in the hope that it will lead to a novel path for cancer treatment.”


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