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
Motti Koren
Director of Business Development, Life Sciences