In the late 1960s, Institute scientists Profs. Ruth Arnon and Michael Sela and Dr. Dvora Teitelbaum synthesized several molecules known as copolymers. They were hoping to create an animal model for studying multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly, rather than causing symptoms of MS, the copolymers were found to block an MS-like disease in mice.
One of the copolymers eventually became a major MS medication for humans. Produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. under the name Copaxone®, it has been approved for marketing in Israel, the United States and Europe.