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Newsletter December 2009


R&D for New Medical Treatments

As research and development at university laboratories take on a more central role in bringing new products to market, Greece is increasingly focusing efforts on connecting scientists and the private sector. Spin offs have played a key role in shaping some of the major developments in Greece today; the most notable, perhaps, is related to the establishment of Greece’s Internet infrastructure in its early stages.

Greek scientists today are involved in many areas of research—one of the most vital is that related to health. ELDRUG, a spin off from the University of Patras Departments of Chemistry and Medicine, is at the cutting edge of developing treatments for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and in developing a release hormone for the induction of ovulation in fish—for hatcheries.

Established in 2007, ELDRUG was founded based on discoveries that led to the creation of ELSARTAN, a promising treatment for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and ELMYELIN, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Greece’s largest pharmaceutical company, VIANEX, invested one million Euro in ELDRUG, an amount matched by Greece’s Ministry of Development. Having successfully passed pre-clinical potency evaluation in a number of bioassays as a pressure suppressor in a variety of animal models, ELSARTAN is about to be submitted for approval by the European Medical Agency (EMEA) for Clinical Trial Phase I.

The Scientific Advisory Committee of ELDRUG is led by the esteemed Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn and is comprised of some of Greece’s leading scientists in chemistry, pharmacology, and medicine.

One of the novel approaches of scientists at ELDRUG in its development of ELSARTAN is the transdermal (through the skin) delivery of the treatment, achieved through extensive and innovative research using advanced chemical modifications to achieve this unusual result.

Some properties of the new treatment that are attractive include:

• Cost effectiveness
• Transdermal delivery
• Similar or lower toxicity (to current product on market)
• The same efficacy at lower concentration
• Long duration


This powerful cocktail of Myelin Epitopes (for the creation of antibodies) is being developed by ELDRUG as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, one of the most insidious diseases we have and one with no current treatment. The company has produced innovative substances, based on the protein Myelin, which has been implicated in MS, that have been designed, synthesised, and evaluated with promising results in animal models of the disease. ELDRUG had registered two patents and is proceeding toward the clinical phase of its operation. ELMYELIN, like ELSARTAN for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, has a number of attractive properties that show positive indications for the future of this treatment.


ELGONAD is a gonadotraopine releasing hormone analog designed and synthesised in the ELDRUG laboratories for ovulation in fish. The applications for this product in the multimillion dollar aquaculture market are significant, and the technology has been successfully applied in Greek fish hatcheries. The stimulation in fish while using ELGONADO was 4-5 times that by the natural hormone GnRH.

ELDRUG has a number of partnerships:
Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens
Research Institute of Austin, Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Pennsylvania
Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens

For more information: