Posted tagged ‘Watch’

Israeli Biotech Advances to Watch For

January 17, 2014

Despite being a small country about the size of New Jersey with a population of only about 8 million, Israel stands at the forefront of international technical innovation. Recent developments in the country’s biotechnology, medical, and pharmaceutical arenas hold much promise for the future of health care and biotech investment.

Vecoy Nanomedicines has developed a way to trick deadly viruses into turning their destructive forces on themselves. The start-up company’s “vecoys” represent a significant advance over traditional vaccines. Although viruses can be highly resistant to outside agents, vecoys move past their defenses and present a virus with the choice of either adhering to the vecoy host or morphing into a form that cannot enter cells, with both scenarios neutralizing the virus.

Another innovative Israeli company has devised an implant that allows the human body to regenerate its own cartilage. CartiHeal has presented its own research showing Agili-C’s ability to rapidly restore cartilage after damage. The implant offers stem cells the chance to grow directly from bone marrow, then form vessels and begin to regenerate. A 47-year-old patient treated with Agili-C for knee damage was able to ski six months post-procedure and to run a marathon the following year.

Mapi Pharma recently acquired United States patents for its multiple sclerosis treatment drugs. Tapentadol acts as a sophisticated analgesic, and another once-a-month medication offers a form of glatiramer acetate in a timed-release format. The latter represents an advance over traditional drugs that release immediately. The company’s leadership predicts that the products will enter the market within the next few years.

Other Israeli products in development include a safer mask for sleep apnea sufferers, a radiation-free imaging device to detect breast cancer, a blood test designed to reveal the early onset Alzheimer’s disease, a non-hormone-based contraceptive, and a device to screen for lung cancer using a patient’s exhaled breath.