ProtAb, a start-up company of Hadasit, the Hadassah Medical Center’s technology transfer arm, has developed a precursor to a vaccine which aims to interfere with the work of the body’s pro-inflammation agents, bringing hope to those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

This debilitating autoimmune disease causes chronic inflammation of the joints and, sometimes, inflammation of surrounding tissues and other organs.

Although researchers report that the treatment will not be available for at least five years, pre-clinical studies on animal models have proven promising. ProtAb, based at the Jerusalem BioPark on the Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem campus, plans to initiate Phase I-IIa clinical trials within the next two years. The company also hopes to address solutions for other autoimmune diseases such as Type-1 diabetes, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.