And the Winner is?

Some of Israel’s neighbors resemble contestants in a fanatical "competition" to see who can cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible.  The Jewish State, however, is competing in an entirely different kind of race.


In the fight against cancer, there have been two recent Israeli successes.  The ImMucin cancer vaccine developed by Israel’s Vaxil Bio produced strong immune and antibody responses in Phase I/II trial patients.  Vaxil even taxied one cancer patient from Gaza to Jerusalem and back for his regular injections.  Meanwhile the 500,000 Russians that contract cancer every year will cheer the plans that Africa Israel announced to develop oncology centers in Moscow, where there is a severe shortage of specialist facilities.

43 million Chinese sufferers of the debilitating Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) will be celebrating the news that Israel’s BioLineRx has licensed its oral HCV treatment to China.  And asthmatic children everywhere can breathe a little easier now that Inspiro Medical’s smart dry-powder inhaler breezed through a critical clinical trial at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikvah.


Other recent Israeli medical achievements include:
-         The discovery of a new protein that treats pain and fertility problems in women suffering from angiogenesis of the uterus.  It can also cure life-threatening side effects of IVF treatment.
-         Europe’s approval of the non-invasive glucose monitor from Israel’s Integrity Applications.
-         Israel’sfledgling start-up Eon Surgical and its scar-less surgery technology received a huge boost when it was taken-over by US giant Teleflex before it had even made its first sale.
-         And even caesarian sections shouldn’t leave a scar once hospitals start using the cold plasma BioWeld1 from Israel’s IonMed for closure of surgical incisions.
Two of the most startling medical stories:
-         Hadassah Medical Center doctors who labored for four hours in order to deliver the conjoined (“Siamese”) twins of a Palestinian Arab woman. 
-         One of the two latest Syrians to be airlifted to an Israeli hospital from next door’s civil war arrived with a note from his Syrian doctor containing details of his injuries.
Some Israelis recently received formal recognition for their technical endeavors:
-         Marganit Cohen-Avrahami won a Kaye Award from the Hebrew University for her skin-permeable nano protein gels that treat illnesses via the skin, thus avoiding the side effects of oral medications.
-         Professor Ilan Sela won his Kaye Award for discovering the virus responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in bees and then for his work developing its treatment.
-         Gadi Mazor of Israel’s OurCrowd won the Blackberry Achievement Award for Entrepreneur of the Year.  Gadi’s Nobex Radio for BlackBerry has played to over 12 million users.

Israelis have also done quite well collectively:
-         Israel is now ranked as the world’s leader in cyber security – up from 19th place in 2012.  The news came as Tel Aviv University was hosting the Third International Cyber Security conference.
-         Israel’s RAD Data Communications won one of the 2013 NetEvents Technology Innovation awards for its MiNID device that configures almost every piece of telecom equipment just by plugging it in.
Some of Israel’s winning agro-technology innovations made progress last week:
-         The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture approved the use of Israel’s non-toxic "Tamar Tech" pesticide based on edible oils. It protects leaves, stems and fruits from attacks by insects, spider-mites and fungi.
-         Israel’s Evogene is working with Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group (DBN) to increase fertilizer uptake and drought tolerance in rice.  Evogene has several candidate genes to improve this vital crop.
Cyclists keen on winning road races would be wise to invest some funds in the world’s first spray device for cyclists, Q-Fog provides 400 sprays of cooling water that evaporates from your body.  Enjoying slightly faster speeds, Jerusalem’s streets were filled last week with 160,000 spectators (including Muslims, Christians and Orthodox Jews) cheering on Formula 1’s winning Ferrari racecars


One person who really deserves an award is Governor of the Bank of Israel, Professor Stanley Fischer who has begun his final lap before retirement.  He will be happy to hear that exports from Israel to the UK increased by over 50 percent in the first quarter of 2013.  On the subject of successful exits, I must include a mention of Google’s takeover of Waze – the Israeli social traffic application with almost 50 million global users.  At over $1 billion, it is one of the largest purchases of a start-up in Israel’s history.
Finally, one of UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ winning activities before his retirement was to give an inspiring speech to thousands at the “Closer to Israel” event in London.  He spoke of Israel’s innovations and humanitarian activities as well as the success that Arabs enjoy in the Jewish State.  And in a wider context, “Israel is a blessing not just to its citizens but to the world.”
There’s the answer then.
Everyone’s the winner. 
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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