Novocure (NASDAQ: NVCR) today announced that Yoram Palti, Novocure’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer, has been selected to receive the 2022 Israel Prize in the field of entrepreneurship and technological innovation.
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In 2000, Professor Yoram Palti set up a laboratory in his basement in the Israeli port city of Haifa and founded Novocure. (Photo: Business Wire)
Bestowed by the State of Israel, the Israel Prize recognizes Israeli citizens who have shown special excellence and a breakthrough in their field or who have made a special contribution to Israeli society.
Professor Palti, a professor emeritus of physiology and biophysics at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, founded Novocure in 2000 based on a groundbreaking idea: that electric fields at very specific frequencies could be harnessed to treat cancer.
“Professor Palti demonstrated great courage as he pursued a truly novel approach to cancer treatment,” said Asaf Danziger, Novocure’s CEO. “We are proud that he is being recognized for his commitment to scientific innovation and his impact on patients and families around the world.”
Combining his expertise in physics, biology and medicine, Professor Palti believed that electric fields could be used in a new way to help people with cancer. Forty years after writing his doctoral thesis on the distribution of electric fields in and around nerve fibers, he looked back on the data with a fresh perspective and began computing how to use electric fields to destroy cancer cells.
Next, Professor Palti set up a laboratory in his basement and conducted experiments that would lead to his invention of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), electric fields that disrupt cancer cell division. Additional research followed, and in 2003, Novocure began its first clinical trial of TTFields in multiple solid tumor types.
“Professor Palti’s ingenuity and drive in the early years of Novocure laid the foundation for our company to grow into the global oncology company we are today, with more than 22,000 patients treated to date and more than 1,100 employees,” said Bill Doyle, Novocure’s Executive Chairman.
Today, TTFields therapy is approved in certain countries for the treatment of adults with glioblastoma or mesothelioma, two of the most difficult cancer types to treat. The therapy shows promise in multiple solid tumor types — including some of the most aggressive forms of cancer.
“I was looking for a treatment for cancer, and my research eventually led to a totally new modality,” said Professor Palti. “Of course, what matters most is that patients receive an effective treatment, whatever that treatment may be. I am proud that the new mode of treatment worked, and as a result, our therapy is reaching people who need it. We will continue to develop and work to optimize our therapy so that more patients can benefit.”
Novocure is a global oncology company working to extend survival in some of the most aggressive forms of cancer through the development and commercialization of its innovative therapy, Tumor Treating Fields. Novocure’s commercialized products are approved in certain countries for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Novocure has ongoing or completed clinical studies investigating Tumor Treating Fields in brain metastases, gastric cancer, glioblastoma, liver cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer.
Headquartered in Jersey, and with a growing global footprint, Novocure has regional operating centers in Root, Switzerland, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Tokyo, as well as a research center in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit Novocure.com and follow @Novocure on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Professor Yoram Palti
Professor Yoram Palti founded Novocure in 2000, has been our Chief Technology Officer, serving as a consultant, since 2000 and was a director of Novocure from 2002 to 2018. Professor Palti is a professor emeritus of physiology and biophysics at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and is the inventor of Tumor Treating Fields. From 1982 to 1993, Professor Palti was the head of the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, the research arm of the Technion Medical School. From 1968 to 1970, Professor Palti was an associate professor of physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Professor Palti has served as a director and consultant to EchoSense Ltd., a private medical device company, since 2010, and he also founded and managed Carmel Biosensors Ltd. and CellSense Ltd. from 1992 to 2000. Professor Palti is the author of more than 80 patents and 100 scientific papers. Professor Palti received his M.Sc., Ph.D. and M.D. from The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and served his residency at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School.
About Tumor Treating Fields
Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, are electric fields that disrupt cancer cell division. Fundamental scientific research extends across more than two decades and, in all preclinical research to date, TTFields have demonstrated a consistent anti-mitotic effect. TTFields therapy is intended principally for use together with other standard-of-care cancer treatments. There is a growing body of evidence that supports TTFields’ broad applicability with certain other cancer therapies, including radiation therapy, certain chemotherapies and certain immunotherapies. In clinical research and commercial experience to date, TTFields therapy has exhibited no systemic toxicity, with mild to moderate skin irritation being the most common side effect. The TTFields global development program includes a network of preclinical collaborators and a broad range of clinical trials across all phases, including four phase 3 pivotal trials in a variety of tumor types. To date, more than 22,000 patients have been treated with TTFields therapy.
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