Biogal Galed Laboratories develops, manufactures, and markets diagnostic tools for companion animals, poultry, cattle, and other farm animals. The company’s VacciCheck is a point-of-care antibody titer test designated to validate vaccination success and prevent over-vaccination in cats and dogs. VacciCheck is based on the ImmunoComb ELISA technology developed and patented jointly with Orgenics (now Alere) to detect antibody levels in animal blood and serum. Biogal’s ImmunoComb kits are also used for a wide range of disease diagnostic applications in various animals. Biogal is also the developer and manufacturer of PCRun, a DNA and RNA pathogen detection test kit that makes polymerase chain reaction testing more accessible and affordable to veterinary professionals. PCRun tests can be performed either in a clinic or by a lab.
At an estimated $6.2 billion, Israel’s healthcare technology industry is a global leader in innovations across various medical fields. With over 1,400 digital health start-ups to date, Israel ranks 5th in the world according to the World Index for Healthcare Innovation.
Investors have taken notice of such success. According to a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Company group of Israeli venture capital funds and investment bodies, 60 percent of investors said they expect to invest more in digital health in 2022, with only 4 percent expecting to invest less than in 2021. These findings are particularly significant due to record-breaking fundraising throughout 2021.
One particularly notable example of such investment is the recent announcement by Israeli medical investment firm Peregrine Ventures. Together with partners Bristol Myers Squibb, Shaarei Tzedek Medical Hospital, Tel Aviv University, and more, Peregrine recently announced over 300 million NIS (90 million USD) in investment for the development of medical therapeutics, devices, and pharmaceuticals. The fund will also focus on advanced diagnostics for identification, monitoring, and personalized medicine.
As stated by Eyal Lifschitz, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Peregrine Ventures, “The establishment of this consortium will enrich and diversify our ability to lead young life sciences ventures, support them financially in every phase of their lifecycle including follow-on investments in their growth stages, and lead them to success in the global market. This is an integrated, global, and elite team that has the confidence in the ability of Israeli entrepreneurs to develop the next generation of successful medical companies.”
Peregrine Ventures‘ startup incubator, Incentive Technology Incubator, already has an impressive track record. 34 of the 60 companies established in Incentive remain active, and the graduated companies have reached a combined $5 billion. Valtech Cardio, a particularly successful graduate, was sold to Edwards Lifesciences for $690 million in 2017.
The recent investment announcement by Peregrine Ventures and partners will further cement Israel as a global center for medical innovation. Below is a list of successful Israeli medical startups who have benefited from Peregrine Ventures’ Incentive Technology Incubator:
Valtech Cardio specializes in the development of devices for mitral valve repair and replacement. The company’s Cardinal facilitates implantation and suturing that is very similar to that of regular annuloplasty rings, performed through the left atrium. The Cardinal’s ring is attached to a patented, ergonomically designed, flexible handle, which enables the surgeon to control the ring size.
CartiHeal develops proprietary implants for the treatment of cartilage and osteochondral defects in traumatic and osteoarthritic joints. CartiHeal’s cell-free, off-the-shelf implant, Agili-C, is CE marked for use in cartilage and osteochondral defects. Agili-C is a rigid, biphasic, biodegradable implant. The bone phase of the implant is composed of calcium carbonate in aragonite crystalline form, a well-known biomaterial that enhances bone formation. The cartilage phase is a composite of modified aragonite and hyaluronic acid.
Cardiovalve is developing cardiovascular replacement devices for minimally invasive surgery. Its flagship system is designed to replace the mitral valve using a transfemoral system. Cardiovalve is designed from the bottom up for transfemoral/transseptal delivery with femoral venous access. This approach offers significant benefits including a short profile for minimal protrusion to the left ventricle, minimizing interference in the cardiac blood flow, and increased safety.
Eximo Medical is developing hybrid catheter technology for tissue resection in vascular and gastrointestinal endoluminal applications. The company’s proprietary single-use hybrid catheter, Auryon, combines optical fibers that deliver short laser pulses and a blunt mechanical knife.
Digma Medical is a clinical-stage medical device company developing a novel endoscopic treatment for metabolic disease designed to complement standard medical management. The Digma System ablates the duodenum to interrupt metabolic signaling pathways, reducing insulin resistance and improving glycemic control.
Curesign is a medical device company aiming to disrupt the way oncologists treat patients with cancer. The company’s solution is based on the integration of sensors with advanced signal processing and big data tools. Curesign’s product, which is in the advanced stages of development, is designed to allow clinical teams to tailor a patient-specific treatment for each cancer patient.
Modeany develop patches that use biophysical technology to remedy specific bodily ailments.
Each product contains a formula of frequencies that correspond to those that exist naturally in the human body. Modeany has developed a range of patches. Their categories include Stress and Anxiety, ADHD/ADD, Sleep, Strength, Detox and Fibromyalgia.
Modeany are seeking distributors and potential buyers within the Australian market.
For all enquiries, email Kelly at the Israel Trade Commission.
Lyra Medical was founded in 2011 and is located in Israel. All R&D and manufacturing is made in Israel
Concept behind developing the SRS implant for POP procedures was that most complications from trans-vaginal mesh procedure do not come from the use of mesh but from the need to anchor it in pelvic compartment. See link attached:
Behavioural Intelligence Platform – Now Utilised by Labs and MoH for their ViruScore
Neura empowers organizations to make strategic, data-driven decisions based on large-scale human behavior and activity signals. Its Behavior Intelligence Platform transforms vast amounts of anonymized data into actionable, impactful and monetizable insights based on population behavior and lifestyle.
TheNeura.com, Neura’s brand solution, enables powerful behavioral intelligence, audiencing, and CRM enrichment, combined with highly effective, contextually relevant engagement, pinpointing optimal moments of availability for increased monetization.
The population engagement platform uniquely positions Neura to help solve the new challenges that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neura.co, Neura’s COVID-19 solution equips policymakers, health organizations, and businesses with real-time tools to monitor, predict and contain the Coronavirus pandemic. Providing decision-makers with the necessary insights to safely reopen the economy.
The Behavior Intelligence data is also utilized by labs and HMOs as part of Neura’s ViruScore, a COVID-19 predictive testing solution enabling more effective pooled
Binah.ai’s technology enables the extraction of a large set of vital signs and mental stress measurements based on the analysis of a video taken with any device equipped with a camera.
Binah.ai’s solution applies signal processing, AI technologies, and a proprietary mathematical backend processor that analyzes video taken of the upper cheek region of a human face (no video of the eyes is required). Using the extracted photoplethysmogram signal, Binah.ai’s technology can calculate heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate. Heart rate variability is calculated based on heart rate data and further serves as the data from which mental stress measurements are extracted.
Binah.ai’s technology helps mitigate business risk with its ability to monitor – remotely and in real-time – vital signs such as heart rate, SpO2, respiration rate, and mental stress – just out of employee smartphone. Making it safe to go back to work, and use services such as air travel, etc.
Looking for a large-scale app distributor or systems integrator, also partnerships with large businesses and entities looking to protect their workforce and customers.
Playwork, formerly Gemon, has developed an innovative big data solution for turning common physiotherapy equipment into smart, gamified rehabilitation products.
Playwork’s solution is designed to bring digitally connected workouts to the masses by seamlessly integrating IoT technology into existing workout equipment, making the transition easy, affordable, and natural. At the same time, it will monitor patient performance and generate data-driven care plans to maximize healthcare reimbursement.
Israel claims to have completed the development phase of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the country’s Defence Ministry. A research lab in the Israeli city of Ness Ziona says they’ve identified a key antibody that attacks the virus and neutralises it. The Israeli Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) is now looking to secure a contract with an international manufacturer for the commercial development of the vaccine.
“I am proud of the Biological Institute staff, who have made a major breakthrough,” Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.” Jewish creativity and ingenuity brought about this amazing achievement.”Mr Bennett said the “antibody attacks the virus in a monoclonal way,” which is seen as a more potent treatment, as it is derived from a single cell. The IIBR has been testing blood from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19. Samples from those who have beaten the disease are seen as the best possible hope of discovering a cure.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the breakthrough is a big step forward.
“Like all countries, Israel is now trying to find the right balance between protecting the health of our citizens by preventing another spike in infections, and enabling the reopening of our economy, but, ultimately, to ensure both the public health and national prosperity, we must all work together on improving diagnostics, accelerating therapies and ultimately developing a vaccine,” he said.”I am confident that Israel’s leading research institutions, its world-renowned scientists and our unique culture of innovation can enable us to play an important role in advancing solutions on all three fronts.”We hope to work with other countries to leverage our unique capabilities to find solutions for the benefit of all.”
Israel has had more than 16,000 cases of COVID-19, and more than 200 deaths. The country’s health minister was diagnosed with coronavirus last month but has since recovered.
Israel, as a global centre of research and development, is leading efforts to use technology to mitigate the coronavirus crisis on three fronts: developing a vaccine, improving testing for the virus, and innovating technological developments to improve patient care.
There have been seemingly daily updates about Israeli breakthroughs in this area. This article will try to provide a helpful overview of many of those breakthroughs and how quickly they are expected to be available for use.
Vaccinesand other Treatments
Early reports that Israel was ready to export a coronavirus vaccine to the world were premature, but there are at least two important Israeli institutions working towards the development of a vaccine.
The first is Israel’s state-run Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), which has been tasked with the job of creating a vaccine by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fifty top scientists at the Institute are working on the vaccine, in three separate teams, alongside a global biotech company with complementary expertise. On March 31, sources told Reuters that the IIBR had begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents.
Other researchers at IIBR are also involved in plasma collection from people who have recovered from infection with the novel coronavirus, hoping that this might assist in the research.
In addition, Migal Galilee Research Institute, located in Kiryat Shmona in Israel’s far-north, has spent four years working on a vaccine for a coronavirus disease in poultry that has many similarities to the current novel coronavirus which is causing the current pandemic among humans. The Institute announced in late February, that this vaccine would be adapted to deal with COVID-19.
David Zigdon, the CEO of Migal Galilee Research Institute, said his lab was working hard to accelerate the vaccine’s development.
“Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next 8-10 weeks and to achieve safety approval in 90 days. This will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public,” Zigdon said in a press release.
Meanwhile, scientists at Israel’s Weitzmann Institute of Science, together with Diamond Light Source laboratory in Oxfordshire, are “pioneering a revolutionary method of scientific research that could see a candidate for an anti-coronavirus drug emerge ‘within weeks’” according to the UK’s Jewish Chronicle.
According to Dr Nir London, who heads the team at Weizmann, the technique involves using the “crowd-sourcing of global intelligence” to quickly generate an “unprecedented amount of preliminary data” and then using tests conducted on all proposed molecules in parallel, rather than linearly, enabling scientists to follow up on “500 to a 1,000 compounds” in the same period it would normally take to test a “few tens of compounds.”
Testing for coronavirus has been a highly fraught aspect of the current outbreak given the slow pace and labour intensiveness of traditional testing methods.
Israeli researchers have committed themselves to improving testing using technology.
There are reports that in the next six weeks, an Israeli company – working under the guidance of Israel’s Defence Ministry – will be ready to test a COVID-19 screening method that uses only a patient’s voice. Through artificial intelligence technology, the test would observe the patient’s breathing and speech patterns in order to detect the illness. It would be particularly useful because possible cases could be tested from home and could also help monitor the health of patients who have already been diagnosed.
Meanwhile, researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology collaborating with experts at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa, have come up with a new method of processing test results that could vastly speed up the rate at which tests for the virus can be completed. The technique, known as“pooling”, involves protocols which make it possible for a lab to test samples from up to 64 people at the same time, rather than one at a time, as is the usual practice.
“The level of collaboration between faculty, physicians, health professionals and medical and graduate students at the universities, hospitals, health maintenance organisations, Magen David Adom, and Ministry of Health, is unprecedented in Israel,” said Professor Karen Avraham, Vice Dean of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. “This will set the stage for years to come for how much we can accomplish when working together so selflessly.”
Defence industries pivot to the war against the coronavirus
Israel’s defence industries have shifted into addressing medical needs in the country. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with medical company Inovytec and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have completed a production line for Ventway Sparrow ventilators, established on the grounds of a classified IAI missile production site. Ventilators, ready for deployment to hospitals, have already begun rolling off the line.
Meanwhile, the IDF has tasked its famous Unit 81, the military intelligence technology unit, with working to find a way to easily convert simple and inexpensive breath regulating devices known as CPAP machines into ventilators suitable for use in intensive care units. The unit will also produce 1,000 face masks for healthcare providers a day, as well as outfit 50 vans with internal separators to protect drivers from infected patients, and produce information management software for laboratories testing for coronavirus.
Additionally, Unit 108 of the Israeli Air Force has teamed up with Microsoft Israel Research and Development, Ichilov Medical Center, Magen David Adom (MDA) and others to develop a simple respirator that could be mass-produced in labs at low cost. It is being developed as “open source” so that countries around the world could ramp up manufacturing locally, affordably and in a short period of time.
The IDF has also retooled assembly lines previously used to build seats for tanks in order to produce protective goggles for health care workers.
Harnessing the top minds at Israeli universities
All of Israel’s universities have initiated multiple research projects designed to quickly help address the coronavirus crisis:
The Technion: Besides the previously mentioned testing breakthrough, Haifa’s renowned Technion has 20 different laboratories at the university working on COVID-19 related projects in the spheres of diagnostics, vaccine development, therapeutics and aids for medical teams. TheTechnion academics on the job include Avi Schroeder, who is developing a targeted drug for treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), based on existing drug delivery methods, while at the same time, developing a vaccine for coronavirus based on a vaccine he has previously developed for shrimps.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev: The Beersheva-based BGU has launched a “Coronavirus Task Force”, according to the Jewish News Service (JNS), “In a meeting attended by 50 scientists from diverse departments within the university, ideas were presented and the task force broke into several groups working on the most promising projects and collaborations, including self-sterilizing facemasks, medical emergency drones, a coronavirus test that could take just five minutes using chip technology, and a telemedicine and remote triage system.”
Hebrew University of Jerusalem: A March 31 report in theTimes of Israel interviews HU Professor Shy Arkin, who is using his lab to test chemicals to be used to attack the virus. “What we’re trying to do — and again, I would hope and anticipate that others are doing — is trying to repurpose drugs” and find drugs already on the market that may be effective in reducing the most dangerous effects of the virus, Arkin told David Horovitz.
Israeli company Kryon Systems has developed an automation system to help Israel’s health insurance companies quickly process the mountains of data coming in from the country’s growing number of coronavirus patients – as well as those who have tested negative. Kryon is now offering this automation technology to any other health insurance providers globally free of charge, in order to help in the current pandemic.
The Israeli Defence Ministry has also developed a new software called “coronameter” which analyses data gathered from the mobile phones of Israelis to help locate likely carriers of the coronavirus in order to test them. Its use is now awaiting cabinet approval.
Other Israeli researchers are working on projects as diverse as CT scanning technology that can test for coronavirus using artificial intelligence, portable blood-testing devices for coronavirus patients who do not require hospitalisation and a sensor that allows contactless monitoring of a patient’s condition.
Once again, Israel has proven itself to be at the cutting edge in helping solve this dangerous pandemic. Time is of the essence, but Israel appears to not be wasting any of it.
As the number of people who’ve tested positive for coronavirus is mounting and could reach 2 million in the coming days, Israeli innovators are harnessing artificial intelligence technologies to curb the global pandemic, perhaps the most challenging public health crisis in modern history.
What we know already is that scientists and researchers are working diligently to find treatments and to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence technologies are emerging as key solutions to combatting coronavirus, and Israel is well-positioned in this field.
Some of these life-saving technologies are already helping the Israeli healthcare system slow the spread of the virus. Many are also being shared for use by countries around the globe, including those hardest hit by COVID-19.
One example is an AI-based triage platform that gives public health officials continuous monitoring of the patterns in which the virus spreads. Originally developed by Israeli company Diagnostic Roboticsand adapted to tackle the current pandemic, the platform also offers an analytics tool that produces risk assessment and predictive models, thereby allowing a faster and better targeted medical response.
Officials from the US, Italy and other countries turn to Israeli innovators for help
Founded in 2017 by Dr Kira Radinsky, Prof. Moshe Shoham and Yonatan Amir, Diagnostic Robotics has so far raised $24 million from investors. The startup recently joined the global fight against COVID-19 by giving countries access to their technology at cost. Governments in the US, Italy, Brazil, Austria, and the Netherlands have recently expressed interest in the system.
“We wish to contribute to any country’s efforts and help in any way we can during these challenging times,” said Dr Radinsky, a world-renowned expert in AI, whose work predicted the cholera outbreak in Cuba a few years ago. “We want to share our technology platform and the knowledge we’ve gained from the nationwide coronavirus monitoring system deployed in Israel.”
Artificial intelligence technologies minimize direct contact with medical teams
The Israeli Ministry of Health recently launched a nationwide scheme that does daily monitoring of coronavirus-related symptoms of the population by using Diagnostic Robotics’ digital risk assessment and monitoring platform for COVID-19. The platform, which analyzes the patient’s clinical symptoms and underlying health status, generates a personalized, AI-based risk profile for COVID-19, in addition to providing next-step guidance.
The information is delivered as “red flags” to health authorities, creating a “heat map” of corona hot spots, which in turn helps medical services identify which regions need intensive care.
The Diagnostic Robotics solution leverages data provided by the public remotely, helping individuals determine the right course of action while minimizing direct contact with medical teams – which also eases the burden on healthcare staff.
How does this work? Healthcare providers engage their clients with a simple symptoms questionnaire via a text message. This remote screening process, illustrated by a high-resolution epidemiologic heat map, enables health officials to gain a continuous, real-time, and large-scale assessment of the virus’ spreading rate. By referring to such a heat map, decision-makers can know immediately which geographic areas warrant immediate attention.
Helping hospitals and labs detect, diagnose and monitor
Diagnostic Robotics is not the only Israeli startup harnessing artificial intelligence to take on COVID-19. Diagnostics.ai is currently providing laboratories in the US and UK with its advanced diagnostic tool, which employs artificial intelligence for faster and more accurate test results. Diagnostics.ai’s technology streamlines the process of detecting, diagnosing, and tracking infectious diseases by automating the DNA analysis step.
This accelerates the diagnostic process, removes the need for specially trained technicians, and eliminates the error factor in interpreting results. The company’s built-in tracking capabilities allow hospitals, governments and patients to track coronavirus incidences by area with standardized, accurate test results.
Analyzing test results nowadays requires skilled technicians and a lot of precious time, as much as a few days. But in our current reality, healthcare systems need to analyze thousands of results instantly and to expose as few lab workers as possible to the virus. Enter diagnostics.ai’s artificial intelligence technology, which automatically analyzes the results within one hour, and immediately sends them to the hospital. This is achieved through the use of algorithms that ‘study’ how an expert clinical technician interprets test results and then apply this knowledge to automate future routine analyses, eliminating manual steps for patient testing.
Another Israeli company with an AI solution for COVID-19 is CLEW Medical. Its AI-powered, machine-learning models enable intensive care unit (ICU) workers to proactively manage disease severity and workload. The company has developed a ‘predictive analytics engine’ that detects respiratory deterioration in real-time and delivers preemptive warnings throughout the patient’s ICU stay. The CLEW Medical solution is already implemented in coronavirus units in Israeli hospitals and is currently being tested by several hospitals in the US. Founded in late 2014 by Gal Salomon and Avigdor Faians, CLEW has so far raised $20.5 million from investors.
Another one to watch is Israeli startupVocalis Health, which collects voice samples of coronavirus patients and healthy individuals so that its AI technology can help triage, screen and monitor patients remotely. Through vocal biomarkers, Vocalis can correlate the voice with the symptoms of COVID-19 and alert patients and healthcare systems by a simple smartphone message.
These are just a few examples out of approximately 150 Israeli startups working to combat the coronavirus outbreak (for more information, visit CoronaTech Israel). Once decision-makers understand the core advantage that AI technologies bring to the coronavirus challenge, it’s clear that their deployment can bring critical breakthroughs to medical systems worldwide.