The expertise is that of its founder, Yehezkel Ben-Ari, based on the work of a lifetime, and the proven theory postulating that the brain is built in utero while functioning in its own way, thanks to neurons that can be called “immature”. During the crucial period of pregnancy, events can occur, assaults that impact on collection of cells that do not mature normally. If left immature in an adult brain, these cells disturb the neighbourhood and are at the origin of pathologies, some of which will not appear until late in life. This is the concept of neuro-archeology. It is about understanding how the brain is built, and at the same time how the maturing sequences can be deviated.
This vision is opposed to another one, unilaterally genetic, which implies that many phenomena are coded in advance. According to this assumption, the causes of the diseases are mainly “environmental”. These latter can combine with the patient’s natural susceptibility, “favorable” conditions, and thus develop in one individual rather than another. We then speak of epigenetics, genetics which express according to the context. Immature neurons were found to have high levels of chlorine that disturb the brain’s ionic balance. These phenomena are found in particular in autistic patients. Tests have shown that reducing this chlorine level has beneficial effects on certain pathologies.
The B&A Oncomedical project
Numerous experimental data have shown that tumour cells, especially in types of cancer resistant to treatment – glioblastomas, pancreatic, lung or liver cancers – also have high chlorine levels. These cells also create disorder in the ionic balances of many organs (heart, pancreas, intestines, epithelium, etc.). Reducing these levels by blocking the entry of chlorine into the cell could block metastases and cell divisions coming with them.
The treatment B&A Oncomedical is working on is to chemically block only those problematic cells. This molecule exists: it is a well-known and generic diuretic that has been used everywhere. However, it generates side effects (loss of potassium in particular) that could be avoided. In addition, it could be more effective if a way was found to make it more easily reach its target. In order to do so, B&A Oncomedical wishes to launch the search for a new molecule, with equivalent properties but more effective and with fewer side effects, to treat these types of incurable cancers.