Amal Ayoub, an Arab scientist from Nazareth, has received financial support to commence trials for testing her unique method to help cure cancer using nanoparticles of gold.
Ayoub’s start-up, Metallo Therapy, is premised on her earlier research showing that metal nanoparticles, especially gold, when introduced into malignant tumours can enhance the effects of radiation therapy while reducing damage to neighbouring healthy cells.
Working with two Arab-Israeli employees, a male chemical engineer with a degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and a female biologist, Ayoub is perfecting a method to produce the gold nanoparticles efficiently on an industrial scale, and has developed a molecule to coat them so that they do not cause toxic interactions with body tissues.
Over the past three years, funding for Metallo Therapy has been provided by the Israeli Chief Scientist’s Office through the NGT Technology Incubator in Nazareth. The Task Force visited NGT on its 2011 study trip, as it is the only applied sciences company devoted to the Arab community’s scientific, technological and entrepreneurial potential.
The recent investment of $300,000 (£185,600) came from the pharmaceutical division of Arkin Holdings, a fund established by Israeli healthcare entrepreneur Mori Arkin.
Arkin Holdings’ Pini Orbach stated: “We decided to invest in Metallo Therapy because we believe it has innovative technology for treating cancer, excellent basic science and management with the necessary skills. We also believe that the Arab community has much talent in the life sciences, and that investments of this kind will help promote Jewish-Arab cooperation in various fields.”