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Abraham Avi J Domb , Speaker at Pharma Conferences
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Title : Rejuvenation of old drugs by repurposing, formulation and salt formation


The introduction of a new drug entity to the clinic may take many years with a significant investment. Thus, only a few dozen of new drug entities are approved by the FDA each year. Chemical modification of existing drugs for improved properties or generating new IP, is considered a new drug entity and may require to pass a long and expensive approval process.

Our approach for improving drugs that are in clinical use, without chemical modification, is by finding them a new indication that they may be effective in, reformulating them into more effective and safe formulations or preparing reversible salts of the drug molecules.

The cannabinoids, CBD and THC, are water insoluble phenolic molecules with poor oral bioavailability. Oral formulation based on the pro-nano-liposphere (PNL) concept have been prepared and showed significant increase in oral bioavailability. The formulation consists of a solid lipid, surfactants and an edible solvent that the drug is soluble in, where upon addition to gastric fluid, it spontaneously forms nanoparticles that are capable to penetrate the gastrointestinal walls and reach the blood stream. Buccal formulation that provides CBD constant blood levels for over 8 hours, after a single application was demonstrated. CBD phenolate salts were prepared for improved stability and physical properties. Injectable formulations that release an active agent for several weeks, after a single injection have been developed. These concepts can be applied to many water insoluble drugs as well as phenol containing agents for improved drug activity.


Abraham J. Domb is a Professor for Medicinal Chemistry and Biopolymers at the School of Pharmacy-Faculty of Medicine and Forensic Sciences at the faculty of Law of the Hebrew University. He earned BSc degrees in Chemistry, Pharmaceutics and Law; Diplomas in Business management and Textile science and PhD from The Hebrew University. He did his postdoctoral training at Syntex Research, MIT and Harvard university. Since 1991 he is at the Hebrew university. During 2007-2012 he headed the Division of Forensic Science at the Israel Police. During 2014-2016 he served as president of College of Engineering. 2018-2021 he was the head of the School of Pharmacy of the Hebrew University. Since 2021 he is the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Innovation, science and technology.

His research interests include: medicinal and polymer chemistry, pharmaceutical development and drug delivery systems, oral and dental research and forensic science.