With 2M$ gained through pre-seed funding, Itay&Beyond has initiated the recruitment of 200 low-functioning individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to develop their drug discovery platform for psychiatric evaluations. Itay&Beyond is an innovative biotech startup at the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem developing in-vitro cognitive assays, based on patient-derived cortical brain organoids on a chip, aiming to improve cognitive and learning skills of people with intellectual disabilities.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common neuro-developmental disorders with a prevalence of 1 out of 44 children in the USA. ASD impacts communication skills and social interactions, leading to social and emotional difficulties, behavioral challenges, and impaired independence.
For parents and families, the economic and psychological burden is evident though rarely discussed. Raising a child with ASD as a happy, satisfied, and independent individual can be very fulfilling but quite demanding. In many cases, it requires profound life adjustments on behalf of the caregivers and ongoing professional support.
Early diagnosis and intervention are key factors in developing higher social skills and independence, yet diagnostic and effective therapeutic options are limited. Given the high prevalence of the condition and the economic and social strain placed on the individuals and their immediate environment, additional tools need to be developed to aid healthcare professionals in properly diagnosing the condition and promoting better care options. In neurological disorders, and specifically ASD, the patient variability and limited treatment options lead to miss diagnosis and overtreatment that can be detrimental to the development of the individual.
One father from Israel, faced with the joys and challenges of raising a boy with ASD, rose to the challenge and together with Boaz Goldman and Dr. Nisim Perets, founded the start-up Itay&Beyond with a mission to develop a state-of-the-art diagnostic and research tool that will prompt precision medicine and novel drug discovery for a multitude of neurodevelopmental disorders, this with the hope of securing an independent future for those in need.
Most drug development endeavors fail in clinical trials as a result of the limited relevance of current animal models for the prediction of clinical success. Skipping animal models, Itay&Beyond has developed a platform for pre-clinical drug testing based on human brain organoids, AI, and machine learning, allowing better prediction of drug efficacy for autism.
The disruptive technology Itay&Beyond is currently developing is based on cognitive in-vitro assays. These assays are conducted on patient-derived brain organoids using a proprietary electro-physiological system developed by the company, alongside robust, cost-effective protocols for the derivation of cortical brain organoids. In combination with traditional molecular assays, this platform aims to provide better predictions on the clinical success of drugs for psychiatric and neuro-developmental disorders.
With this challenge, Itay&Beyond has attracted leading physicians and scientists tackling a multidisciplinary challenge. Located in the “Biohouse” compound in Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, which is in Jerusalem, Itay&Beyond is currently recruiting patients for a large-scale, non-interventional, non-invasive clinical study in collaboration with the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, aimed at collecting biological samples from participants with ASD, for the derivation of cortical brain organoids.
“Itay&Beyond presents a revolutionary concept of testing and diagnostic measures that strongly appeal to families and professionals,” states Prof. Ariel Tenenbaum – Director of the Pediatric Chronic Diseases Unit, at the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. “The collection of samples is noninvasive and without any pain or discomfort, it does not jeopardize the patients in any way, it has the potential to test brain functions and cognitive abilities in-vitro, and it is cost-effective with the opportunity to use the same sample for many tests.”
“With estimable in-house expertise, Itay&Beyond has made significant strides in understanding the underlying mechanisms of ASD,” said Frida Grynspan Gotlieb, Head of Lonza Collaborative Innovation Center in Israel. “Their groundbreaking technology based on brain organoids that embody key biochemical properties associated with ASD screens prospective medications and determines their efficiency, thereby greatly expediting drug development. This innovative platform offers significant advantages to pharmaceutical companies interested in delivering efficacious therapeutics for use in the clinic. As a scientist who has worked in autism-related research, I believe that Itay&Beyond’s platform has the potential to provide condition-specific treatments for people with ASD and thereby provide real hope to their families.”
Itay&Beyond is an innovative biotech startup at the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, developing novel technologies for drug discovery and development for Autism spectrum disorders and neurological pathologies. Itay&Beyond develops pre-clinical Target Drugs based on their innovative biologics drug discovery platform. Itay&Beyond provides scalable non-invasive sample collection, improved model systems, prediction methods for clinical success, and novel therapeutic approaches. This innovative technology significantly increases the probability of improvement in human behavior and cognitive processes compared to traditional drug discovery methods based on animal research models. The most promising compounds will go on for pre-clinical study.
Itay&Beyond’s business focuses on licensing, co-development, and sales of drugs developed up to Pre-IND.
The company was founded in 2021 by three entrepreneurs: Dr Nisim Perets, Shmulik Bezalel, and Boaz Goldman. Itay&Beyond holds two issued US patents with PCT extensions. Additional patent applications are in process.
Itay&Beyond is always seeking possible collaboration and funding opportunities.
Read more about the Itay&Beyond team at https://itayandbeyond.com/leadership/
For more information, visit https://itayandbeyond.com
Or contact Nisim Perets, CEO, at Tel: or nisimp AT itayandbeyond.com
About JLM- BioCity
News on the many life science and healthcare companies in the Jerusalem area can be seen at https://jlm-biocity.org/jlm-biocity-innovations/. Join the JLM-BioCity LinkedIn group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060787 https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060787 to get the news updates sent to you and to be part of the JLM-BioCity community.
JLM- BioCity is a non-profit organization focused on developing and excelling in Jerusalem’s bio-community.
We invite you, researcher, professional, investor, and executive to become part of our vision, in building Jerusalem’s Biomed eco-system.
If you want your company featured in our blogs, or news releases, please contact: info AT jlm-biocity.org