Medicortex USA Ltd. is a start-up pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and pre-clinical development of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute neurodegenerative conditions, including Traumatic Brain Injury, exposure to toxic nerve agent and stroke. Medicortex’s mission is to develop a truly effective neuroprotection therapy that limits the damage in brain injury, based on a novel multifunctional drug approach. By doing so, Medicortex will provide a solution to an unmet need for the treatment of acute neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, Medicortex operates in the United States and Israel. Medicortex will set-up three departments, including: Chemistry, In vitro and In vivo departments. The chemistry department will focus on the research of the molecular synthesis. The in vitro department will perform validation and proof of concept tests on neuronal tissue cultures, and the in vivo department will conduct animal model toxicology and efficacy research. The site in Israel is responsible for the development and management of the pre-clinical research program. Medicortex was founded in 2011 by Dr. Adrian Harel, an experienced neurobiologist with a proven track record in business management and leadership of several successful drug development companies
Acute neurodegenerative conditions, and especially Traumatic Brain Injury, are widely recognized as the leading cause of CNS impairment. In the US alone, this “silent epidemic” affects more than 1.7 million individuals annually. The greatest incidence of Traumatic Brain Injury occurs among 1-5 year old children, 15-24 year old males and people over 75 years of age. Despite the huge and constantly growing patient population, Traumatic Brain Injury is widely recognized as an underserved and an unexplored therapeutic area. At the time of Traumatic Brain Injury there is immediate physical damage to brain tissue. As a result, the damaged cells release amino acids, metal ions, cytokines, chemokines and free radicals. This is followed by the impairment of calcium, potassium and sodium influx, nitric oxide generation, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial dysfunction and more. This chain of events causes apoptosis of the damaged and nearby affected cells, blood vessels leakage, hypoxemia, blood-brain-barrier damage, axonal injury, and progressive white matter deterioration.
Progressive brain damage can be observed within days, month and even years later. For example: days and months after the immediate injury amnesia, headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, sensation deficits, emotional and mood swings, cognition deterioration, as well as seizures or epilepsy events, varying degrees of physical paralysis or spasticity and movement disabilities can be observed. Depression, delusions, suicidal behavior, and increased risk for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease & Parkinson’s disease may accrue within years after Traumatic Brain Injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury – an un met need
At present, there is no pharmaceutical treatment available to inhibit the continuous damage to the brain tissue upon an event of Traumatic Brain Injury.
In light of the growing incidence of Traumatic Brain Injury and the lack of appropriate treatment, many biopharmaceutical companies have made numerous attempts to develop a specific therapy. Nevertheless, despite the fact that pre-clinical studies have suggested several promising candidates, all drugs tested at the Phase III clinical trials have failed to show significance at their primary endpoints.
Most of the tested drugs are usually designed to target only a single pathway which contributes to the development of the secondary injury upon Traumatic Brain Injury, while multi processes and pathways are involved in the secondary injury formation.
Thus, an intervention that simultaneously targets multiple factors would be more effective in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury Medicortex’s drug candidates are designed to target simultaneously various biochemical pathways occurring at different time points post Traumatic Brain Injury. By doing so, Medicortex’s drug candidates could halt and even prevent the development of the secondary Traumatic Brain Injury.
Medicortex’s Pipeline
The company has developed a strong pipeline of proprietary, chemically-verified lead compounds. These NCEs are potent multifunctional drug candidates with high solubility and stability in the plasma that are able to cross the blood–brain-barrier.

Medicortex’s first three lead candidates, TBI-121, TBI-122, and TBI-123 , each include a chemical spacer and a penetrating head elements with two or more of the following properties: binding free metal ions as well as possessing anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, or anti-bacterial effects.

This kind of multi-functional drug agent targets various biochemical pathways occurring at different time points post Traumatic Brain Injury, thereby is suggested to attenuate and even to prevent the formation of the secondary associated neuronal death and neurological dysfunction.
Development plan
The company will verify its novel concept in several animal models of neurodegenerative conditions, including head trauma and stroke, in the hope of obtaining highly promising results. A series of tests has demonstrated that the regulated reduction of different free metal ions induces the effective neuroprotection of the affected tissues in the injured brain and encourages the naturally occurring process of brain detoxification.

The further development of the new drug candidates is presented in the following scheme
16-17 April 2014 - Medicortex presenting at The 4th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference (WASHINGTON, DC USA)


10-12 March 2014 - Medicortex attending BIO-Europe Spring® 2014 (Italy)


09.2013 - Medicortex presentation at the upcoming TBI-Challenge.eu


06.2013 - 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Neurology & Therapeutics


05.2013 – BioIsrael, Israel’s Life Science On-Line


03.2011 - The 1st Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference