Small molecules to treat ALS; Center for Innovation Lab; New Unicorns; and much more!

by: Michael Ordman


New way to treat blood cancer

Scientists at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have found that malignant cells in hematologic cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma etc.), rely on a cytoskeletal protein, called WASp. Attacking WASp can destroy malignant cells without threatening healthy ones.

Digitizing neurology

Israel’s NeuraLight uses video from smartphone or web camera, to catch neurological patterns and digital markers. Its computer vision and deep learning algorithms help accelerate development of therapies including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases.,7340,L-3921318,00.html

Small molecules to treat ALS

Israel’s Neuromagen is developing a new class of small molecules to treat ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and other neurodegenerative diseases. The molecules activate the enzyme telomerase reverse transcriptase, which protects and rehabilitates neuronal cells.

Innovative eye treatment technology

Israel’s BioLight (see here previously) is partnering with Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center, to locate and develop innovative technologies in ophthalmology. Also, Biolight’s subsidiary Diagnostear has begun a clinical trial in India of its diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease.,7340,L-3923641,00.html

Natural remedies for feminine ailments

Israel’s Algamed is using natural-based compounds made from algae plus its own innovative FemTech to treat sensitive feminine conditions. The algae excretes a gel that keeps it moist, and has numerous anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-aging benefits.,7340,L-3923598,00.html

Fast genetic data analysis

Israel’s Geneyx Genomex utilizes the world’s largest unified global knowledge base for interrogating genetic-based diseases and disorders. It provides fast analysis, interpretation, and reporting to help labs accelerate the development of targeted and personalized therapeutics.,7340,L-3922324,00.html

Massive donation for autism research

The Canadian-Israeli Azrieli Foundation has given NIS 40 million ($13 million) to the National Autism Research Centre of Israel in BeerSheba (see here previously). It is the largest ever donation for an autism infrastructure project in Israel.

Best of Health

Israel’s Aidoc, (see here previously) has been selected the “Best New Health Application” award of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health Awards competition. Aidoc’s artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have revolutionized medical imaging.

Anti-viral nasal spray is a hit

Israel’s Enovid (see here previously) is ramping up production of its SaNOtize anti-Covid Nasal spray to keep up with demand. It is to manufacture up to 250,000 units per month in the US alone. In August, Enovid struck a deal with India’s Glenmark to manufacture the spray for South-East Asia.

Smell the coronavirus

Very interesting article about Israel’s NanoScent (see here previously), which has developed a device so sensitive that it can detect viruses in the breath, such as SARS-Cov2. 50% of employees are female and it is another example of Christian Arabs, Muslims, and Israeli Jews working side by side.,7340,L-3921893,00.html

The world’s steepest decline in Covid morbidity

Israel has seen the biggest drop in coronavirus morbidity anywhere in the world, according to global trackers. Covid-19 may be here to stay, but thanks to boosters, virus-killing masks, nasal sprays, and vaccine passports, Israel has only some 5,500 active cases (115 serious).


An Israeli accelerator for startups in Ghana

The Israeli Embassy in Ghana help promising local agricultural startups bring their ideas to the next level with the help of Israeli tech experts. Ghana is Africa’s largest cocoa producer and Israel can help with irrigation, electricity and treatment against viruses and pests.

Israeli astronauts “are making history”

The two Israeli members of the AMADEE-20 Mars Simulation mission (see here previously) met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. “You are making history,” Herzog said. “If there is something that unites humanity, it’s the future life of the universe and the life of the human species.”

Economy ministers meet for first time in a decade

Israel’s Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and her Jordanian counterpart Yousef Alshamali met in Jordan to discuss strengthening economic ties, the first such meeting in a decade. They proposed renewing the countries’ trade agreement, improving tourism and more.

Colombia opens innovation center in Jerusalem

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque opened the Jerusalem office of Innpulsa, Bogota’s entrepreneurship and innovation agency. Colombia’s first overseas trade and innovation office is seen as deepening the already close ties between Israel and its South American ally.

Weizmann joins giant telescope project

Israel’s Weizmann Institute has joined the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) to help it complete the largest and most powerful Gregorian optical-infrared telescope ever engineered. Weizmann previously helped develop the telescope’s exo-planet-seeking spectrograph.


Center for Innovation Lab

Tel Aviv University is launching the Center for Innovation Laboratories. Initially comprising six laboratories (with additional under construction), the goal is to adapt research to the needs of society, industry and public institutions. It will also bring together experts from a wide range of disciplines.

Jupiter’s Red Spot is measured

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute devised a 7-year innovative plan to use sensors on the Juno spacecraft to determine the mass and depth of Jupiter’s red spot for the first time. The huge storm is the size of the Earth and extends to a depth of about 500 kilometers below the planet’s clouds.

Building AI platforms with IBM

IBM and Israel’s NeuReality (see here previously) are partnering to develop AI platforms using NeuReality’s NR1-P Artificial Intelligent centric server on a chip. The aim is to enable finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, smart cities etc., to deploy AI systems.,7340,L-3921496,00.html

Optical film is clearly of interest

Israel’s Spectralics is developing includes state-of-the-art next-generation optical chip and imaging technology. Its multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC) is a new type of thin optics ‘film’. Volvo Cars has invested $2 million to possibly use the film to displaying images on car windscreens.,7340,L-3923165,00.html

Managing home servicing

Israel’s Workiz is an all-in-one service management platform that allows home service professionals to focus solely on their customer’s jobs while outsourcing back-office operations.,7340,L-3922781,00.html

In the Blink of an eye

Israel’s Blink Technologies is developing eye-tracking software to enable a faster and more natural way of communication with the growing number of smart devices and intelligent hardware devices across many industries. Its touchless technology uses gaze tracking with no special glasses necessary.,7340,L-3922120,00.html

A “next-gen” replacement for MP4

Israel’s won Calcalist and Poalim Hi-Tech’s StartUp+ competition. The startup is developing a platform for creating dynamic and interactive videos, coming up with MPFlyer (MPF) – a new, vastly more efficient video format than MP4 and 100 times smaller.,7340,L-3921760,00.html

Intelligent data analysis

The founders of Israel’s include members of the IDF’s intelligence units. They are building a DataOps platform that will allow companies to build their data infrastructures in a way that can retrieve and process complex data in hours – not weeks or months, without writing any code.,7340,L-3920463,00.html


OECD raises Israel’s growth forecast

The OECD has raised Israel’s GDP growth forecast to 6.3% in 2021 (from 5%) due to its successful Covid vaccine rollout, recovery in demand and the jobs market. Israel’s Ministry of Finance is even more optimistic, at 7%.

$100 million climate tech fund

Israel’s Firstime is raising a $100 million fund aligned with UN sustainability development goals. It aims to help build Israeli unicorns working in the climate technology industry, and has already invested in BeeHero (see here previously) – Israel’s precision agriculture and pollination company.,7340,L-3921400,00.html

Building Jerusalem’s tallest tower

Jerusalem has approved the construction of what will become the tallest tower building ever built in Jerusalem. The Marom Tower, part of the City Gateway business park (see here previously) will be forty stories high with a cultural center, art galleries and a museum on the first 8 floors.

Ten more startups ignited

Ignite, Intel’s startup growth program, has selected 10 more startups for its fifth Tel Aviv cohort. They are CADY Solutions, ClairLabs, DeepAI, Echo3D, Exodigo, Finout, Helios, HyperSpace, Illumex, and Oxeye.,7340,L-3921615,00.html

AT&T opens Tel Aviv R&D center

Telecom giant AT&T is opening a new R&D center in Tel Aviv’s ToHa Tower. It is in addition to the R&D center in Airport City which already employs 500. AT&T plans to hire an additional 100 people to expand its activities.,7340,L-3920852,00.html

UBS to establish Israeli R&D center

Global wealth management giant UBS will establish an R&D center in Israel for the first time, initially employing up to 100. General Manager Gerry Livnat recognized that Israel is a cyber center, so it is important for UBS to hear about new developments.,7340,L-3921632,00.html

Vertical farms open in Russia and Ukraine

Israel’s Vertical Field (see here previously) has just opened the first of its indoor farms inside retail stores in Dnipro (Ukraine) and Krasnodar (Russia). The mobile walls grow healthy greens such as lettuce, spinach and basil, to be harvested immediately for customers at the store.

Generating revenue for content creators

Israel’s LetsTok is building a video platform for influencers and content creators. It will allow them to connect with their fans in a marketplace format for personalized advice, counseling, and guidance, plus generate a stable revenue stream.,7340,L-3920388,00.html

New Unicorns

Israel’s Fundbox (see here previously), developer of an AI-powered financial platform for small businesses, raised $100 million at $1.1 billion valuation. Israeli gaming company Moon Active raised $300 million at $5 billion valuation. Finally, Israel’s StarkWare raised $50 million at $2 billion valuation.,7340,L-3923740,00.html,7340,L-3923217,00.html

Significant exits:Schwarz Group bought XM Cyber for $700 million; Celsius bought GK8 for $115 million;

Takeovers by Israeli startups: Global-e Online is acquiring Flow Commerce for $500 million; Lemonade is acquiring Metromile for $500 million.  Traffilog and SafeRide are to merge.

Investment in Israeli startups:

Israeli startups raised $2.8 billion in November, following October’s record $3 billion. These are the largest investments (over $30 million).
Moon Active raised $300 millionHoneyBook raised $250 millionVerbit raised $250 millionStoa (FlipOS) raised $136 millionVia raised $130 millionAutobrains raised $101 millionControlUp raised $100 millionCyCognito raised $100 millionFundbox raised $100 millionOverwolf raised $75 millionTriEye raised $74 millionMindspace raised $72 millionCycode raised $56 millionSafeBreach raised $53.5 millionNexar raised $53 millionEasySend raised $50.5 million8fig raised $50 millionStarkWare raised $50 millionDeepCure raised $40 millionFyllo raised $40 millionWorkiz raised $40 millionObligo raised $35 millionZesty raised $35 millionillumigyn raised $33 millionLaminar raised $32 million;


Netta lights up NBA game

Israel’s Eurovision song contest winner Netta Barzilai sang at the L.A. Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors game at the Staples Center on the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights. After the game, the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, hosted a candle-lighting ceremony.

Chanukah humor and more

Funny pictures and jokes related to the Festival of Lights. He has also added 80 links to his useful resources, including Jewish Prayers, Israel Medical, Volunteering in Israel and Maps of Israel.

World artistic gymnastics medal winner

Israel’s Andrey Medvedev won the bronze medal in the vault event at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan. Aged 31, he was the oldest competitor in his category. He has now won six medals in international competitions, including two golds.

Just a second

Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter came fifth in the recent London Marathon. She finished the race with a time of 2:18:54, just over a second after the first-place winner.

Cycling over to the President

Israeli President Isaac Herzog welcomed Team Israel Start-Up Nation professional cycling team on returning to Israel after a two-year absence because of COVID-19. The cyclists spoke of their season, with 17 victories, including at some of the world’s biggest cycling tournaments.


The Festival of Light

Israeli Chanukah highlights included kits sent by Israeli charity Yad Lachim to Jews in Iraq, Yemen, and Kurdistan to enjoy the festival. Also, Israel’s National Library displayed some very rare Chanukah artifacts. And a 700-year-old Chanukah lamp was just excavated in Susya, in the Hebron hills.

Chanukah on Jerusalem Streets

Jerusalem is always even more beautiful at Chanukah time, when the streets are illuminated with oil lamps. And visitors can experience the Festival of Light on a Chanukah tour.

New exhibit at Bible Lands Museum

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem (BLMJ) has opened a new exhibit – “Digging Down: Art of the Pre-Future”. It is a group exhibition of 42 contemporary Israeli artists whose main subject is archaeology: painting, sculpture, photography, video art, and sound.

18 years of Masa journeys

3,000 young professionals and organizers gathered at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park to celebrate 18 years since the founding of Masa Israel Journey (see here previously). They participated in community-building workshops to launch Masa Israel’s new year for gap year students, interns and volunteers.

Bible quiz

On the fourth night of Chanukah, Israel’s Education Ministry held the final of the International Bible Quiz for Adults at the Hebrew University. The winners were Israel’s Liron Ben Moshe from Alfei Menashe and Yair Yosef Guggenheim from Karnei Shomron.

More reasons to make Aliyah!

Great article advocating immigration to Israel. 10 months’ sunshine; exotic food; vaccination success; Government tax incentives and support for hi-tech training to fill 14,000 vacancies; entrepreneurship programs; demand for English speakers with Western culture experience and more.,7340,L-3921411,00.html