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Hadassah Cyclotron Project Progresses to First-In-Human Trials with NIS15.1M EU Funding


A project initiated and developed by the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Unit of Hadassah Hospital,Jerusalem, Israel, received a grant for research and development under the EU’s Horizon program (Horizon 2020) in the sector for innovative SMEs for Health. The project originates from an exclusive licensing agreement signed in 2013 between Synektik and Hadasit (the business enterprise of Hadassah). Synektik, who applied for the grant, is a leading provider of innovative solutions for diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine in Poland.

​Directly financed by the European Commission (EC), 100% funded, the grant of €3.69M is one of the highest amount allocated to a single project within its category. The project that started with the development of a new cardiac PET/CT tracer has received vital funding to progress to testing in humans. The Cyclotron Unit Director and Head of the R&D Division of Hadassah, Professor Eyal Mishani says, “With heart disease being the most common cause of death worldwide, the grant is important recognition by the European Commission (EU) for translational research”. Using
quantitative imaging for blood flow to the heart, the new tracer developed at Hadassah will help diagnose coronary artery disease to facilitate more accurate diagnoses and treatment methods. It will also enable doctors to measure the damage caused after a heart attack, and predict the degree
of recovery for the heart after a heart attack or bypass surgery.

In this round of Horizon funding for SMEs, only 33 projects were funded out of 960 applications, amounting to a success rate of 3.4% for EU companies. And in the Health topic, only 3 projects of 111 received funding (2.7%). The 3-year grant for building the trials to be conducted in humans was highly praised by experts of the European Commission. Horizon 2020 is the largest in the history of the EU funding program for research and innovation. The total budget of the program amounts to approximately €80 billion, of which almost 7.5 billion will be earmarked for activities in the area of health through various funding mechanisms.

Synektik and Hadassah plan to complete First-In-Human trials (Phase 1) during the first half of 2016, the first of its kind in Israel with a PET tracer. The trial agreement was signed earlier this year followed by submission of an application to the Ethical Committee of Hadassah and the Ministry of
Health. Based on the outcome of Phase 1 trials, Phase 2 will follow.

Cezary Kozanecki, CEO and co-founder of Synektik commented, “We are very satisfied with our decision to work with Professor Mishani and his team from the Cyclotron Unit at Hadassah. And now we are very pleased with the EU for supporting our productive collaboration. This award will allow us to continue to focus on our ultimate goal of combating the most common cause of death in developed countries throughout the world”.