Researchers at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital make progress in preventing loss of vision; Scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have slowed the progress of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease); Teva Pharmaceuticals reported positive results from Phase III trials of its chronic migraine treatment, and much more.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Preventing blindness in the elderly
30% of adults over 75 suffer retinal degeneration with 6-8% going blind. Researchers at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital transplanted retinal pigment cells from embryonic stem cells into five such sufferers and the new cells were absorbed into the retina, preventing loss of vision.
Fast-track treatment for ALS patients
Scientists at Ben Gurion University have slowed the progress of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s). They used part of an FDA-approved cancer / autoimmune disease treatment to combat glial cells, which kill the body’s motor neuron cells. It may also treat other brain diseases.
Positive trials of migraine treatment
Israel’s Teva has reported positive results from Phase III trials of its chronic migraine treatment fremanezumab. Patients experienced statistically significant reduction in the number of moderate severity headache days vs the placebo. FDA approval is expected by end 2017.
Avoid unnecessary chemotherapy
Israeli biotech NewStem, founded by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Nissim Benvenisty, has developed a test that verifies if a tumor will be susceptible to chemotherapy. It prevents a patient having to endure needless treatment with its associated severe adverse side effects.
Advice on the best cancer treatment plan
33% of US cancer patients get poor advice. Eliran Malki, founder & CEO of Israeli startup Belong, describes his new app for cancer patients to chat with physicians, receive good advice and make treatment choices as they battle the disease. Belong currently supports 25,000 patients in 88 countries.
Blood test for lung cancer
Israeli scientists from the Rehovot-based company Nucleix succeeded in developing a first of its kind blood test to diagnose lung cancer long before it spreads in the body, thus increasing the chance of survival. The test examines anomalies of the bonds holding the DNA base Cytosine.
Early detection of Polio virus
Scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed a model for preventing the reintroduction of the Poliomyelitis virus into a previously polio-free country. They use environmental surveillance to detect the virus – rather than the alternative of waiting for the disease to strike.
Israelis health improves
In the latest annual report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Israeli males born today can expect on average to live 80.6 years, whereas Israeli women should live 84.3 years. Israel’s Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) ranking was 5th.
When a bone marrow donor says “No”
Avigayil is head of TED – the organization that arranges Technology Entertainment and Design talks. But she contracted Leukemia and Israeli charity Ezer Mizion found her a rare bone marrow match. But the donor changed his mind. Ezer Mizion then found another match who cancelled his holiday to donate.
Helping toddlers to walk
I reported previously (Dec 2013) about the foot brace from Israel’s UNFO Med that rectifies infant foot deformities within six weeks. Inventor Dr. Izak Daizade and his son Eilon now have FDA and CE approval and the device is sold in Israel, Italy, Africa, Ukraine, and South Korea.