ARTSaVIT was co-founded by Carmel, the economic corporation of the University of Haifa, Carmel Innovations Fund and Professor Sarit Larisch from the University of Haifa, Israel. Prof. Larisch has identified and characterized ARTS, a protein which regulates the levels of several important anti-apoptotic proteins by promoting their degradation. Apoptosis is a highly regulated process of natural cell death. Faulty regulation of apoptosis is implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. Moreover, resistance to apoptosis is a hallmark of most human cancers.
The insights gathered by Prof. Larisch and the unique function of ARTS led to the establishment of the company, which is developing small molecule ARTS mimetics designed to selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. The company received seed investment from the Carmel Innovations Fund, which supported the research and development of the company to its current stage.
On January 5th 2017 ARTSaVIT LTD announced that it has completed a $6.3 million Series A round of financing led by Arkin Bio Ventures and Pontifax, with participation of Merck Ventures, Carmel Innovation and Carmel - Haifa University Economic Corporation Ltd.