Israel's Good News Newsletter to 22nd Mar 20



·         Israel’s Sonovia is to donate 120,000 of its new virus protection masks.
·         Israel helps Palestinian Authority fight the coronavirus.
·         Israel’s Teva donates coronavirus treatment to US hospitals.
·         An Israeli Professor has won the “Nobel Prize” for Mathematics.
·         An Israeli security testing company exits for $1.15 billion.
·         Israel’s museums, orchestra and cyclists have gone online.
·         Israel’s bone marrow database registered its millionth donor.

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ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Virus protection masks. (TY UWI) Israel’s Sonovia (see here) is now in full production of its face masks that protect the wearer from the coronavirus. Sonovia will donate the first 120,000 of the new masks to the Israeli government, for use by medical workers, patients and key employees. More will be donated to other countries.

Treatment saves coronavirus patient. The Israel-Arab bus driver, who was critically ill from the coronavirus, is out of danger. He caught the virus from a group of Greek tourists and was treated with anti-viral medications. Chloroquine, Remdesivir and several experimental medications (see link) are being used in severe cases.

Stem cell treatment may relieve coronavirus symptoms. Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics’s placenta-based cell therapy (see here) could be used to treat patients suffering from respiratory and inflammatory complications associated with coronavirus. Pluristem has launched a joint project with two Berlin-based medical institutions.

30-minute coronavirus testing kit. Israel’s BATM has developed a diagnostics kit to detect coronavirus from saliva samples in less than half an hour. The kit already detects SARS and MERS virus infections. BATM is now busy commercializing the kit for large-scale production.

Double boost for potential ALS treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has given Orphan drug status to the PrimeC ALS therapy from Israel’s NeuroSense (see here). Meanwhile, NeuroSense has begun Phase 1 human clinical trials of PrimeC at two US sites and a Phase 2a human trial at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.

Trial success for diabetes pill. (TY YL & UWI) Israel’s Oramed announced good results of its Phase 2b trials of ORMD-0801 treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Oramed will now discuss its Phase 3 plans with the US FDA.

Breakthrough designation for corneal implant. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s EyeYon Medical (see here) has been awarded Breakthrough Device designation for its EndoArt polymer film implant, attached to the posterior corneal surface, to treat chronic corneal edema. EndoArt has been successful in early human clinical trials.

Only take the vitamins you need. Israeli app Nutricco monitors a person’s nutrient intake, provides dietary advice and delivers missing vitamins to your home. It is intended for those who currently waste money and risk their health by taking unnecessary supplements.  

Smells to boost memory while you sleep. Scientists from Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute have demonstrated that administering certain scents during sleep bolsters memory processes in the brain. The study tested memory recall after using rose scent while memorizing words and then during a short nap.

EU approval for blood pressure wristband monitor. (TY Atid-EDI) In Sep 2019 Israel’s Biobeat received FDA approval for its medical smartwatch and patch (see here). It has now also received CE Mark approval. The smartwatch measures blood pressure, cardiac output, stroke volume, blood oxygenation and heart rate.

A surgical sewing-machine. Israel’s Anchora Medical develops single-use suturing devices used to bring soft tissue into the desired placement during open and minimally invasive surgeries. Anchora has just raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by Japan’s Hoya Corporation.

Building an imaging system for prostate cancer. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Isotopia Molecular Imaging has entered into a development partnership with Germany’s Eckert & Ziegler for the development of its PSMA-11-Kit for prostate cancer imaging. Isotopia’s team includes some of Israel’s leading scientists.

Predicting success of cancer treatments. Israeli scientists are frequently finding new ways of personalizing cancer treatments. Some are based on genetics (see here) or proteins expressed by the body (see here). Now Weizmann Institute researchers are devising a system to predict how patients will respond to immunotherapy.

Unlocking more medical data. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s MDClone (see here) organizes patient data to help medical research in Israel and in the US.  It has now expanded to Canada with The Ottawa Hospital – one of Canada’s largest hospitals. MDClone’s technology can potentially benefit thousands of Canadians.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Paralympic medalist builds wheelchairs for athletes. Doron Shaziri lost his leg during action in the IDF. He then took up wheelchair basketball and Paralympic shooting, for which he won several medals. His experience led him to design wheelchairs for sports such as basketball, tennis, badminton, rugby and even dancing.

Blind and deaf Israeli makes world-class wine. Yossi Samuels has launched YOSSI wine in partnership with Herodion Winery - the first Israeli wine made by a blind and deaf person. It also includes a Braille label. Yossi has heightened senses of smell and taste. He studied wine in Israel and France until he became a sommelier.

Israel’s first female Muslim police lieutenant. Sabreen Saadi is about to become the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Israel Police. Saadi is from a traditional Muslim family in a Bedouin town in northern Israel. There are currently 55 Arab women in the Israel Police.

Israel helps PA prevent coronavirus. Israeli authorities have delivered hundreds of coronavirus testing kits to the Palestinian Authority and to the Gaza strip, plus tons of disinfectant material. In addition, professional teams of Israelis and Palestinian Arabs have been working together to prevent the spread of the virus.

Protecting USAF pilots. The US Air Force has just awarded Israel’s Elbit a $471 million 10-year contract. Elbit will provide a system to warn USAF pilots if an infrared missile has been launched at their aircraft, so that the pilot can engage in evasive maneuvers. The system is already used by the Israeli Air Force.

How to grow crops in the desert. Tel Aviv University’s Nitsan Sustainable Development Lab helps farmers in rural Asia and Africa grow crops in arid conditions. Israeli ag-tech enables farmers to use water and fertilizer more efficiently, grow crops resistant to disease and drought, and harness data to increase yields and quality.

Sudan authorizes Israeli flights over its territory. Sudan has authorized overflights to and from Israel for the first time. So, when flights resume, once the coronavirus is defeated, air travelers between Israel and South America will enjoy shorter duration flights than previously.

Israel attends anti-terrorism conference in Morocco. An unnamed Israeli official attended the “Warsaw Process Counterterrorism and Illicit Finance” working group in Marrakech, Morocco. Though the countries have no formal relations, Morocco has hosted Israeli leaders, and many other Israelis have visited there.

Coronavirus treatment for the US. Israel’s Teva manufactures hydroxychloroquine sulfate, the less toxic version of chloroquine, which alleviates some of the coronavirus’ symptoms. Teva is donating six million tablets of the treatment to help U.S. hospitals meet an expected surge in demand.

Italian professor praises Israel’s coronavirus preparations. Massimo Galli is Professor of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at Milan University and Director of infectious diseases at the Luigi Sacco hospital in Milan. On Italian TV he praised Israel as being the only country prepared for this huge (coronavirus) problem.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

World’s top prize for Mathematics. Israel’s Hillel Furstenberg is being awarded a share of the Abel Prize and 7.5 million Norwegian Kroners “, for pioneering the use of methods from probability and dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics.” The Abel is the Mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

How to use your appliance. Many state-of-the-art appliances can be connected to the Internet and controlled from a smartphone app. But setting these up can be complicated. Those manufacturers that have partnered with Israel’s Co-pilot are now able to use the service to detect your problem and guide you through the process.

Israel’s largest youth robotics competition. (UWI) Before the recent restrictions on large events, Israeli youth joined with teens from the United States to compete in Israel’s largest robotics competition ever.

Stopping a criminal waste of water. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Public Security Ministry is installing a water control system in Israeli prisons to save ‎‎hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water. It is to prevent prisoners deliberately leaving taps running in showers and bathrooms.  https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/02/11/new-system-will-fight-intentional-water-waste-by-palestinian-prisoners/

The future of freelance work. Israel’s Fiverr started as a marketplace for people selling services for five dollars (see Aug 2011).  Its freelancers have since earned over $1 billion, selling their quality products and services globally - without leaving their computers. It is even using AI to help them design company logos.

Read it to me. As reported here previously (Sep 2018) Google Israel developed the “Go” app that reads aloud web content. The Israeli team has now upgraded the app, now named “Read It”. New features include a human voice and translation into 42 languages.  You can even say to your Google Assistant, “Hey Google, Read it!”.

Better air quality at home and work. Israel’s Urecsys develops air treatment technologies for optimizing air quality within residential and commercial buildings. Urecsys predicts and detects pollution levels and then activates building controls to protect workers and residents. Urecsys has just raised $4 million in funds.

TIPA is second of 500 top Food Tech companies. (TY Hazel) Israeli compostable flexible packaging company TIPA Corp was named in 2nd place in global network Forward Fooding’s Food Tech 500 – “the world’s first definitive list of AgriFoodTech talent.”


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Deep Instinct grows. Israeli cybersecurity startup Deep Instinct’s success (reported here previously) continues. It has raised another $43 million to help grow its sales and marketing team in New York, and its R&D team in Israel. There are now 10 million HP computers pre-installed with Deep Instinct’s AI security technology.

Another new IKEA store. (TY Janglo) IKEA plans to open a 6th Israeli store, at Moshav Eshtaol - north of Beit Shemesh. The 25,000 square meter store will have 400 employees and serve the Jerusalem region.

Israeli gelato chain launches NYC branch. Israel’s family-owned boutique gelato chain, Anita, plans to open its first New York City branch. The 1,076-square-foot branch in 2nd Ave will offer 150 flavors ranging from dairy to seasonal fruit-based sorbet to sugar-free and vegan varieties, served from huge glass vitrines.

Clever acquisition. Israel’s Mellanox is in the process of being taken over by Nvidia (reported here). But this hasn’t stopped it growing.  After record-level recent profits it has now acquired Irish network intelligence startup Titan IC Systems.  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3798193,00.html

Checkmarx exits for $1.15 billion. Israel’s Checkmarx is to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $1.15 billion. It is the largest-ever acquisition of an application security company. Checkmarx’s testing finds security flaws in major technology platforms, including Google and Samsung.

Distributing the right image. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli mobile X-ray startup NanoX (see here) has signed an agreement with the Gateway Group for Gateway to distribute NanoX devices across Australia, New Zealand and Norway.  It has also signed an agreement with USARAD, to deploy 3,000 NanoX systems in the US.

Financial power for radio wave power. As reported previously (Jan 2019) Israeli startup Wiliot’s innovative sensor uses radio waves to power IoT devices without batteries or electrical wiring.  Wiliot has just raised $20 million in funds from PepsiCo, Verizon and others.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`

Take a virtual tour of Israeli museums. (TY Janglo) Israel’s museums are going online, providing virtual guided tours of new exhibits and fun activities for visitors of all ages. The museums include the Israel museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Ben Gurion’s Desert Home.

Israeli Philharmonic’s live online concerts. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has been live-streaming concerts “as a gesture to the music lovers in quarantine.”.

A glimpse of Tel Aviv. A one-minute video to give something of the feel of Israel’s second-largest city.

Two NFL players train with the IDF. Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson and free-agent cornerback Josh Norman trained with Israeli soldiers at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel. “It’s amazing to get in there and train with these guys because they are at the top of their game,” Norman told Fox News.

On-line cycling with top cyclists. (TY Janglo) Israel’s only professional cycling team, Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN), is leading a virtual online team ride. Fans with ‘Smart’ trainer-devices can join Germany legend Andre Greipel, Israel’s Guy Sagiv, and Britain’s Alex Dowsett through their phones, TVs or iPads.


THE JEWISH STATE

Another Canaanite city conquered by the Israelites. Archeologists have unearthed the Canaanite city of Lachish (see here for others), that was conquered by the Israelite army, led by Joshua. “And the Lord delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel,” (Joshua 10:32). 

Caves where Jews fought the Romans. (TY Janglo) Dr. Yinon Shivtiel, senior lecturer at Safed Academic College, has identified hundreds of caves in the Galilee used by Jews during the Great Revolt against the Romans almost 2,000 years ago. Described by Josephus, they contained coins, jars, lamps and parts of arrows.

Serbia to open diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. (TY Janglo and Hazel) Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC that his country plans on opening a Chamber of Commerce economic office and a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.

The 400th anniversary of the US-Israel alliance. From 1620 to 2020 Americans have cemented their ties to the Land of Israel. In the US there are 18 Jerusalems, 32 Salems (the original Biblical name of Jerusalem) and 83 Shilohs (where the tabernacle stood).

One million potential donors. Israeli NGO Ezer Mizion has celebrated an historic milestone of one million registrants for its Bone Marrow database. Before the founding of the registry in 1979 a patient had only an 8% chance of finding a match. Today it is 76%. Israel has the highest number of registered of donors per capita.

Celebrating Life. (TY UWI) Even a virus epidemic can’t stop an Israeli religious Jewish wedding.  The Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem conformed to Ministry of Health restrictions by using its balconies for the guests of the bride and bridegroom. The video conveys some of the joy of the celebration.