Molecule protects implants; Nail it every time; Israel – an island of sanity in testing times; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Trials for Covid-19 wonder treatment
The EXO-CD24 Covid treatment (see here) invented by doctors at Israel’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center, is about to begin Phase 2 trials in Greece on 90 patients. If successful, the treatment could be available to treat patients in India, Brazil etc. by end 2021.
How Covid-19 fools the immune system
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have produced the most detailed analysis yet of how SARS-Cov-2 stops cells from making the proteins needed to alert the immune system. When Covid-19 is finally detected, the immune system’s cytokine storm response is too massive.
Post-Pfizer vaccination study
Tel Aviv University scientists conducted the world’s first digital monitoring study to check concerns about the side effects of the SARS-Cov-2 vaccine. Almost all 160 Israelis monitored showed changes to vital signs (heart rates, blood pressure etc.). These all returned to normal 3 days later.
Israeli vaccine news
Israel’s Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) anticipates commencing Phase 3 of its coronavirus vaccine trials soon – probably in Argentina as 30,000 unvaccinated volunteers are required. A new trial may also be launched to test if the two-shot vaccine could be combined into a higher dose single shot.
First US patients for Israeli blood clot remover
The first US patients have been treated with the Tigertriever from Israel’s Rapid Medical. The device helps neurosurgeons to remove blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain following an ischemic (stroke) event. It was approved by the US FDA in March.
Transformative treatment for Cystic Fibrosis
Israel’s SpliSense (see here), is developing mRNA-altering therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) and other genetic pulmonary diseases. SpliSense founder Professor Batsheva Kerem was part of the Hebrew University team that identified the CFTR gene and developed the CF therapy.
Molecule protects implants
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have developed an active molecule (SNV) that can significantly suppress inflammation and resulting bone destruction following dental implants. SNV was originally developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease but was tested on implants by a dentist for her PhD thesis.
Protein from mosquitos could treat brain disorders
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have used a light-sensitive protein derived from mosquitos to regulate the pathways connecting parts of the brain. They believe that the discovery may lead to treatments for neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
Breakthrough app warns of heart failure
Israel’s Cordio Medical (see here previously) has been granted breakthrough device designation by the US FDA for its HearO smartphone app that gives early warning of congestive heart failure by detecting subtle changes in voice tone. It could save millions of lives every year.
Accessible cardiac ultrasound
Israel’s UltraSight has developed an ultrasound device and AI software that allows medical professionals to perform timely and accurate cardiac ultrasound tests regardless of their sonography (medical ultrasound) training. UltraSight won the TCT 2020 Innovation Competition.
More than just a wristband monitor
Europe’s CE Mark has been awarded to the Remote Patient AI Monitoring Platform developed by Israel’s Bio-Beat. The system has recently been radically upgraded (see previous) and now automatically and continuously tracks 15 cardio-pulmonary vital signs.
It pays to be healthy
Israel’s UVTAL Health has developed Rumble – an app that uses social, behavioral and economic incentives to help over one million Israelis take exercise. The app records the number of steps walked and converts that into tokens that can be spent at many shops and websites.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Gaza patients still treated in Israel
Despite Gaza terrorists firing rockets into Israel at the end of April, the IDF was still coordinating the transportation of sick patients from Gaza into Israel for treatment.
Czech & Slovak parliaments recognize Jerusalem Day
Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucuses in Czech and Slovak Republics commemorated Jerusalem Day for the first time, simultaneously. Israeli ambassadors to both republics attended, along with other dignitaries. The shofar was blown in the Czech Chamber of Deputies.
More Covid aid to India
Israel has sent two planes full of thousands of oxygen generators, respirators and medications to help India fight its worst outbreak of Covid-19. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi wrote, “In the coming days, further plane loads of aid are expected to take off from Israel to our friends in India.”
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Google is radical about Israel
Israel is to be Google’s first non-US “Moonshot Lab”, developing radical “Deep Tech” ideas in areas such as ag-tech, clean energy, and robotics. Google X Head of Strategy Adi Aron Gilat will return to Israel. She will recruit up to 20 scientists who will also collaborate with Israeli universities.
Intel’s $10 billion factory
Nvidia to open AI hub in Haifa
US Nvidia has partnered the Israel Innovation Authority to set up Road2 hub – an innovation hub in Haifa to encourage Artificial Intelligence in Israel’s north. Startups will also be able to work with Nvidia Inception, an accelerator that supports more than 7,500 AI startups worldwide.
NTT to open Israeli innovation lab
Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Corp is setting up an innovation lab that will be “a focal point” for all its Israeli activities. It will work with Israeli companies and academia “to develop cutting-edge technologies in various fields,” to support the activities of NTT and its customers.
Videos promote Jerusalem tech ecosystem
To mark Jerusalem Day, Start-Up Nation Central and Jerusalem partners released 4 videos to showcase entrepreneurs and social initiatives in the city, home to 350 startups. They cover BioTech (Alpha Tau), RehabTech (BrainQ & ALYN), Social & Creative Tech and ArtTech.
Filling the tech talent gap
Ben Pasternak, CEO of Israel’s Aman Group, highlights the Government program to encourage more involvement of Israel’s Haredim and Arabs in hi-tech. They include initiatives such as Gov-tech. Companies like Aman are training members of both communities.
Virus resistant tomatoes
Israel’s TomaTech has a range of tomato varieties with intermediate resistance to the brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) that is ruining 50% of global tomato crops (see here for another Israeli-developed variety). TomaTech has now filed a patent for the DNA markers that identify high resistance traits.
Nail it every time
Israel’s Nimble has developed a home robot for automatic nail polish application. It uses 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to paint and dry your nails. Select a color, insert nail polish capsules and then your hand. After 3D-scanning, a robotic arm paints the nails in four coats, dried by hot air. All in 10 minutes.
A teleport in Chile
Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks has selected by Telefonica to equip the strategic teleport in Arica, Chile. The teleport is located under gateway beams of multiple satellites. Gilat’s platform will support rural Internet for schools and can provide broadband access and cellular backhaul throughout Latin America.
Training for data scientists
Israel’s Pagaya has launched a first-of-its-kind 16-week fully paid course to train data scientists, for which there is an acute shortage in Israel. University graduates in certain science, math and engineering subjects can apply, with the opportunity for full-time employment with Pagaya on completion.
Israel Aerospace Industries is to establish a facility in South Korea to convert Boeing 777 planes from passenger to freight (P2F). There is a high demand for wide-body cargo planes with long-flight capacity. IAI plans to perform six (P2F) conversions per year, beginning in 2024.
Nothing new under the Sun
Israel’s Shahar Solutions, founded by Ariel University Professor Gadi Golan and Natan Shahar have made a device to capture 100% of carbon dioxide emissions from engines and power plants. Then solar energy plus the 1897 Sabatier process converts the CO2 into methane to feed back into power plants.
Helping businesses manage cyber risk
Israel’s VisibleRisk is a joint venture between Moody’s and Israel’s Team8. Its aim is to enable business leaders to understand, manage and communicate cyber risk in financial terms. They can then take affirmative action to reduce the organization’s exposure to cyber security threats.
The right security posture
Israel’s Perimeter 81 (see here) has launched Device Posture Check (DPC). DPC ensures that only security-compliant devices can be connected to a company’s network. So even if a hacker used a valid user-ID and password, they wouldn’t be able to gain access to corporate data.
Pandemic tech award
Israel’s TechSee (see here previously) has won a 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award from TMC Labs for TechSee Live. The software allows a virtual technician or expert to see exactly what the customer sees and help fix problems remotely – a vital service during the coronavirus crisis.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Salaries up, deficit down, rating unchanged
Some good recent economic statistics as Israel emerges from the pandemic. The average salary and those for hi-tech employees are up around 10% compared to a year ago. The annual deficit is now 11.2% of GDP (end Feb 12.4%). S&P is maintaining its AA-/A-1+ credit rating for Israel.
Free trade with South Korea
Israel’s Foreign Minister and Economy Minister are shortly to fly to Seoul to sign Israel’s first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an East Asian country and meet Korean business leaders. The FTA cancels customs duty on all Korean imports and will boost Israeli exports to Korea.
Israel’s REE Automotive has extended its partnership with Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors (see here in 2019) to include electric commercial vehicles for transporting people and goods. REE is also partnering French self-driving systems company Navya to develop a level 4 autonomous vehicle system.
Elbit buys British Aerospace unit
Israel’s Elbit has acquired Jerusalem-based Rokar International Ltd from the U.S. headquartered subsidiary of BAE (British Aerospace) Systems plc – for approximately $31 million.
Avoid the checkout in Germany
Israel’s Trigo (see here previously) has partnered the REWE Group, one of Germany’s largest food retail chains, to deliver a “grab-and-go” shopping experience in Cologne. The launch of Trigo’s checkout-free experience in Germany follows its ventures with UK’s Tesco and Israel’s Shufersal.
Hygienic clothing for Spain
Israel’s Polytex Technologies (see here previously) has accelerated its marketing in Spain, with new installations in Tarragona, Navarra, Barcelona and Madrid. Polytex’s hands-free automated workwear solution fights contamination, protects workers’ health, cuts costs, and maximizes efficiency.
Digital banking for freelancers
Israel’s Lili provides digital banking services for small businesses and freelancers in the U.S (see here for another). Lili has doubled its number of clients to 200,000 over the past six months. It has just raised $55 million and plans to hire 50 more employees, mostly in Israel.
Pharmacy employs smart warehouses
Israel’s largest health & beauty retailer Super-Pharm is partnering Israel’s Fabric (see here) to use its small, robotized fulfilment facilities in city centers. It follows a 2019 pilot by Super-Pharm in Tel Aviv, to process online orders for same-day delivery.
Investment in Israeli startups:
Nayax raised $430 million; SimilarWeb raised $165 million; Lili raised $55 million; Stampli raised $50 million; SpliSense raised $28.5 million; VisibleRisk raised $25 million; Cycode raised $20 million; Planck raised $20 million; UltraSight raised $13 million; Nimble raised $10 million; InfiniGrow raised $5.25 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israeli author wins France’s top literary prize
Israel’s Shmuel T. Meyer has been awarded “Best Novella” in the Spring Goncourt Prize – France’s most prestigious literary honor. “Et la guerre est finie … “ (And the War Is Over) is a trilogy set in post-war France, Israel’s War of Independence and New York.
Israel’s David (“Deddy”) Dayag is an astro-photographer, who captures outer space images of nebulae, galaxies, planets, the sun and more, according to ILTV, from his backyard in Netanya. For some clearer pictures, though, he visits the Negev desert.
Have a ball with Barca
Holon’s Toto Arena is holding the World premiere of an interactive exhibit, “Barca, The Exhibition” from 15 July. Produced by a group of Israeli promoters and supported by the Spanish Embassy in Israel, it simulates a player’s journey from Barcelona soccer club’s youth academy through to its first team.
THE JEWISH STATE
Shavuot – The Jewish festival of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, celebrates the first time in history that the Jewish people were united. They were described in the singular when receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. This year, Jews are again united in defending Israel against terrorists and antisemitism.
Hundreds of Jews and Arabs marched for coexistence near Jerusalem between the Arab town of Abu Ghosh and the Jewish community of Mevaseret Zion. Pro-unity demonstrations also took place in Haifa and the Jezreel Valley. At Israeli hospitals, Jewish and Arab medics sang together in favor of peace.
$1 million to match Israel’s emergency donations
Last week, philanthropists Mark and Erica Gerson matched all donations to Israeli Emergency Medical NGO United Hatzalah up to $1 million.
Israel – an island of sanity in testing times
Great article by Israel21c Editor Nicky Blackburn.