March 23, 2003

Allon is working on developing drug compounds that stop neurodegeneration, which is a hallmark of many diseases such as Alzheimers.When Illana Gozes was growing up in Jerusalem, she had a friend whose parents were both science professors at nearby Hebrew University.

“I used to love they way they would discuss issues like DNA over tea, and I thought that’s what I would like to do someday.”

Today, Gozes does that, and much more. Her title is Professor Illana Gozes, PhD, Tel Aviv University, and the company she co-founded – Allon Therapeutics, Inc. is developing new drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, including Alzheimer`s disease and related conditions.

The prestigious Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA) in New York recently announced that for a second time they are investing in Gozes’s research at the Tel Aviv-based start-up biotechnology. ISOA has previously provided funding to Gozes to develop neuroprotective compounds to treat Alzheimer`s disease

“I feel the funding from ISOA is a recognition that we are doing something important that should be promoted,” said Gozes.

“We are delighted to have received the ISOA endorsement and funding and look forward to advancing our potent neuroprotective drug candidates through clinical testing and into patient’s hands,” said CEO and co-founder, Dr. Avron D. Spier. “ISOA enjoys considerable prestige and respect within the Alzheimer’s research community for its effective funding programs aimed at developing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The ISOA is confident that Allon is on the right path to a breakthrough in Alzheimer treatment.

“Funding drug discovery and development projects in early stage biotechnology companies is strategically critical to achieving our mission,” said Howard Fillit, M.D., Executive Director. “Allon is the second start-up biotechnology company to receive a program-related investment (PRI) from ISOA’s Founder’s Program

Approximately 4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and the number is growing. Although the disease was once considered rare, research has shown that it is the leading cause of dementia. The compounds that Allon is developing may also provide an answer to other conditions of the central nervous system, including Parkinson`s disease, stroke, head trauma, and retinal damage as a result of glaucoma.

“Allon is working on developing drug compounds that stop neurons dying, a process called neurodegeneration, which is a hallmark of many diseases such as Alzheimers,” Spier told Israel21c. “All of the laboratory research is carried out in Israel, in the 14 member laboratory of Professor Gozes.”

The origins of the company and its technology , explained Gozes, grew out of collaborative lab research between TAU and the National Institute of Health where she spent a sabbatical in the late 1980s..

“When I returned to TAU I continued the research via grants from the US Israeli Binational Science Foundation. Three years ago, we decided to form a company in order to get to the stage of clinical research. We licensed the technology from TAU and the NIH and got the original finding.”

Gozes, who was born and raised in Jerusalem, attended Tel Aviv University, received her PHD from the Weizmann Institute, did post-doctoral work at MIT and has been a professor of clinical Biochemistry at TAU for the last 10 years. She holds
The Lily and Avraham Gildor Chair of the Investigation of Growth Factors Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Since 1998, ISOA has committed more than $17 million in support of 80 research projects at leading academic institutions and biotechnology companies in 7 countries. ISOA is a New York-based private foundation endowed by the Estée Lauder Trust. Mrs. Estee Lauder is the Honorary Director. Co-founders Leonard A. Lauder and Ronald S. Lauder serve as Co-Presidents.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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