Good News, Israel

Compliments of Anglo Raannana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    “Much of the mental furniture of the modern world is of Jewish fabrication.”

    (Paul Johnson, Christian historian, author of A History of the Jews [see the first section below])

We thought that we would start this week with some recent developments in the Biomed field simply because Israel is a leader in the area and also because it impacts so directly on the well-being of people all over the world. So:

    · The exports of the Israeli life sciences industry totaled $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of about 14% compared to the same period last year. There was a 15.4% increase in the export of medications, totaling $1.3 billion and of medical and surgical instrumentation which saw a 7.5% increase, representing about $ 306 million.

    · ILSI–Biomed Israel 2010 Week, the key annual life sciences event in Israel, is being held this week at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, with the participation of experts from all over the world.

    · 53% of the 81 new companies established at incubators in 2009 were in the life sciences. 33 of the start-ups are developing medical devices, and ten are biomed firms. So far this year, 19 life sciences start-ups have been founded, 15 of which are medical devices companies.

    · Chiasma Inc. has successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial of its oral Octreolin for the treatment of acromegaly or gigantism, [Goliath of David and, fame was probably a sufferer] a hormonal disorder that results from an excess of growth hormone. The test showed that the drug was effective and there were no serious side effects.

    · Approved in 1996, Copaxone was the first, non-interferon treatment for Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis RRMS. Multiple Sclerosis Association of America president said, “Twenty years ago, we did not know if a safe, effective treatment for MS would be available for patients. The fact that we are able to celebrate the long-term impact of this treatment is something we are thankful for on behalf of MS patients worldwide.” A clinical trial of more than 19 years is still ongoing and its data reinforce the established efficacy and safety profile of Copaxone. A quote from a patient, who participated in the study that led to the approval of the drug and who continues to be treated with it: “I believe that addressing my disease early and committing to a continuous therapy has helped me maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.” Kind of says it all about a disease that was totally debilitating not all that long ago.

    · Clinical depression is a frightful and potentially fatal but treatable disease. A team from Ben Gurion University has developed a computer algorithm that actually improved the diagnoses of depression by 10 percent by simply ‘reading’ written responses from patients. When the system was checked on a huge selection of blogs, it identified the 1,000 most-depressed posts also picking out the 100 most-depressed and 100 least-depressed authors. These findings could be used to identify people who are desperate enough to end their own lives and will become yet another weapon in the battle to alleviate suffering.

    · The Knesset is in the process of passing a law that will hopefully eliminate the phenomenon of young ladies who want to adorn the catwalk as professional models, developing life threatening eating disorders to conform to the distorted body images demanded of them. While the bill was greeted with skepticism at first it now enjoys considerable support and has aroused interest worldwide, and not only that

    · The Health Ministry announced it will launch new programs for sufferers of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, with most of the major hospitals extending facilities for treating these serious conditions. GN on both counts.

    · Insulin pumps deliver insulin the way a healthy pancreas does, allowing freedom in daily activities and improving the quality of life of their users and now Israel’s Nilimedix Ltd. the developer of a highly sophisticated form of the device, has signed an agreement with an Italian company that will give it the exclusive rights to distribute it throughout Italy.

    · Merck Serono SA, Europe’s largest biopharmaceutical company, plans to expand its Israeli activity. The company believes that Israeli science has a special zest to it, which will help the Company to produce its next blockbuster drug. [A blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year]. The Company wants to expand its drug pipeline in a range of fields, including autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, oncology, and endocrinology and it regards Israel as the ideal partner in this endeavor.

    · In an advanced trial, Debrase a gel dressing, which is based on a mixture of enzymes from pineapple stems and sterile gel for treating patients with serious burns, reduced the number of patients who required surgery to remove burned tissue, the number of patients who required skin transplant surgery over the burned area was also reduced. It significantly shortens burn treatment and reduces the risk of infection and the extent of scarring; it also resulted in a reduction in blood loss involved in removal of the burned tissue. All GN of the best kind.

    · The BreathID system can assess a range of liver and gastrointestinal disorders by molecular analysis of patients’ exhaled breath. It uses a laser-like light source to pinpoint real-time changes in carbon 13-carbon 12 isotope ratios at an accuracy level of single parts per million. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction but it isn’t and that’s GN.

    · BiolineRX Ltd. recently announced that it is in advanced talks with a US pharmaceutical giant, which has remained nameless, to complete the R&D on BiolineRX’s BL-1020 drug for the treatment of schizophrenia. BL-1020 has undergone advanced drug trials and was found to be safe and effective with no metabolic side effects.

    · Mazor Technologies, which makes equipment for imaging-guided surgery, reports its first sales in the United States. The company sold its SpineAssist technology to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas suburb Plano for $500,000. Mazor also signed a four-year service contract. The company expects the first patients to be operated on using the system in the very near future.

The battle against dread diseases has been joined and Israel is in the forefront of the attack and that’s GN

    · Like we’ve always said, if you want to hear GN ask the Central Bureau of Statistics and sure enough they reported yesterday [Thursday] that export of services totaled $2.1 billion in April 2010, 17.7% more than in March,. Revenue from tourism services totaled $345 million in April, up 5.7% over March. Industrial output also rose significantly in February-April. The number of manufacturing jobs increased by 3.4% and work-hours in manufacturing were up 2% over the same period. More people working more hours producing more goods and selling more products to more countries. Could it be better?

And now a heart-warmer to end with:

    · If, like us, you’d never heard of Ahuachapan [and we still can’t pronounce it] then, like us, you’ll be surprised to note that the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) organization certainly has. The village is in a remote area of El Salvador, and does not have access to clean water, electricity or adequate health care services but SACH got to hear about Sara, the youngest child of a couple who live on less than $5 a day. Sara stays with her mother, a housewife, and her father, a farm worker, in a one-room tin and clay house, which is located three hours from the closest hospital and she is desperately in need of heart surgery. SACH, which has already treated 2,400 children from 39 countries, to the rescue. Sara together with her mother will be brought to Israel and this little girl will be operated on by the team at Wolfson Hospital and will get the best medical attention available, worldwide, she’ll recuperate here, and when she’s completely restored to health will rejoin her family in El Salvador and another small miracle will be chalked up to this selfless team of experts doing what they do best and that is relieving suffering.

June 18, 2010 | 2 Comments »

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