Encapsulation of drugs and therapeutic bioactive agents in Beta-casein assemblies for oral delivery

Prof. Dganit Danino | Biotechnology and Food Engineering


Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

The Technology

β-casein is an amphiphilic protein that self-organizes into well-defined core–shell micelles that can be developed as efficient nanocarriers for oral drug delivery. One model is celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory hydrophobic drug utilized for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, now also evaluated as a potent anticancer drug. This system is unique as it enables encapsulation loads > 100-fold higher than other β-casein/drug formulations, and does not require additives as do other formulations that have high loadings. This is combined with the ability to lyophilize the formulation without a cryoprotectant, long-term physical and chemical stability of the resulting powder, and fully reversible reconstitution of the structures by rehydration. These enable the drug-loaded β-casein micelles to be tested for oral drug administration. Being a milk protein, β-casein is expected to be safe, and to naturally release its payload, celecoxib, directly at the site of action. The technology includes encapsulation of poorly soluble drugs in beta-casein micelles, and releasing the drug from the micelles using physico-chemical conditions. The protein has a dual role in forming micelles and stabilizing the new surfaces of the released drug, leading to the creation of a novel fractal drug polymorph. The novel technology leads to new forms of drugs that have a very high surface area, increased solubility and bioavailability.


  • Stable drug delivery vehicle, expected to be safe as a milk protein
  • Enables high encapsulation loads
  • New forms of drugs that have a very high surface area, increased solubility and bioavailability
  • Simple process

Applications and Opportunities

  • Oral drug delivery vehicle for various diseases
  • Improvement of poorly water-soluble, hydrophobic drugs, for oral drug delivery
  • Technology can be also used for pharmaceutical products, veterinary pharmaceutical products, cosmetic products, food products, and agricultural chemicals
arrow Business Development Contacts
Dr. Gal Gur
Director of Business Development, Life Sciences