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Israeli Companies Are Leading the Global BioTech Charge, Here's How And Why In an attempt to become self-reliant, Israel invested in infrastructure, education, and technology to empower innovative leaders and field experts to lead the charge in their respective industries

By Max Golderstein

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With one of the highest concentrations of high-quality startups in the world, Israel has built a global reputation, rightfully earning the nickname of 'startup nation'. Industries ranging from agriculture, technology, healthcare, and more, have benefitted from the immense levels of innovation coming from Israel. In an attempt to become self-reliant, Israel invested in infrastructure, education, and technology to empower innovative leaders and field experts to lead the charge in their respective industries.

Biotechnology is one of Israel's most dominant sectors, with life science companies raising nearly $7 billion in the last decade on the NASDAQ. Israel's clear prominence in this industry has led major companies such as Pfizer, GE, Johnson & Johnson and more, to build R&D centers and startup incubators in the country. Garnering recognition on a global scale, helping other countries solve their own problems, and cultivating innovation within its own borders have propelled Israel to the center of biotech, and this is just the beginning.

What sets Israel apart

In the healthcare sector, many countries have failed to update medical procedures, opting for traditional, outdated approaches that fail to optimize procedures and client experiences. Israel is setting a new standard by showcasing the value of innovation and technology in medicine. For instance, the Israel-based company Nanox, which uses AI to redefine the landscape in early medical detection, had the largest IPO of any young medical company in history in 2020. This is just one example of how Israel has fostered innovation in biotech.

There are many factors that play into Israel's ambitious successes in biotechnology, but top-notch education and high levels of R&D investment are two of the most notable. Israel spends roughly 6 per cent of its GDP on education, and its academic institutions foster creative learning, innovation and technology for their students at all levels.

With educated citizens, grand investments in R&D, and an ever-changing landscape of need, Israel is poised to serve as a leader in biotechnology for the foreseeable future. Global landscapes across several industries are changing thanks to Israel's commitment to cutting-edge advancements in biotech.

Advancing the future of meaty technology

As more consumers grow weary of the potential health risks, environmental impact, and animal cruelty aspect of eating meat, alternative options are taking form at a rapid pace. Aleph Farms is the world's first company to produce steaks from animal cells. Recently, they announced that will join the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) as an Innovation Sprint Partner.

Aleph Farms sees cellular agriculture as a practical solution to the world's most urgent issues and is working on developing affordable cell growth media for cultivated meat production, as well as conducting groundbreaking experiments on cultivated meat in space.

Revolutionizing Spinal Cord Treatment

There are between 250,000 and 500,000 new spinal cord injuries each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These injuries are largely irreversible, leaving patients with costly medical care needs, extensive therapy treatments, and not much hope. Cutting-edge biotechnology is being developed to offer patients treatment that could restore some of the lost function.

NurExone, an Israel-based biotechnology company uses exosome technology to deliver proprietary agents that have the potential to support nerve regeneration. NurExone's studies show that their technology can create significant functional improvements. In one of their studies, they showed how animals who were able to walk again due to their treatment. NurExone's technology has been shown to stimulate nerve regeneration all while being non-invasive – something quite revolutionary. Although they are still early-on in their journey, NurExone is reigniting treatment approaches for spinal cord injuries (SCI). With the total market for spinal cord trauma expected to reach $3.04 billion by 2025, NurExone's is tackling a large issue and brining hope to SCI patients around the world.

Treating cancer with precision medicine

Every patient is different, and Imagene AI is making it possible to treat them as such. With digitized biopsy imaging, Imagene AI can offer real-time molecular analysis to cancer patients, reducing the normal lead time from two weeks to two minutes. This level of innovation is astounding, but Imagene AI takes it even further. With wide-scope treatment-response prediction, medical professionals can gain an understanding of how each patient's body will respond to a variety of treatment plans.

A recent investment round brought in $21.5 million, with $18.5 million coming from Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and his fellow investors Dr. David Angus and Eyal Gura. At only two years old, Imagene AI has already begun changing the landscape of cancer treatment.

Biotech innovation addresses humanity's biggest problems

With Israel, the hub of innovation, leading the charge, the future is bright for biotechnology and the impact it will have on the world. While many medical needs can be addressed with the right advancements in the industry, it is becoming more clear that igniting growth in the biotech industry will bring abundant benefits to many other industries that need to be propelled into the future.

Humanity is facing some of the most challenging times in history; with the climate crisis rapidly advancing, pandemics sweeping the globe, and uncertainty at an all-time high, the innovation and leadership found in Israel are needed now more than ever. Whether it's making food more accessible, reducing our carbon footprint, or changing the outcome of devastating medical emergencies, Israeli biotech companies have illustrated that they are ready to lead the charge. Frankly, we should all be following.
Max Golderstein

Analyst Research Fellow at Future Markets Research Tank (FMRT)

Max Golderstein is a writer and analyst with an expertise in Pharma, Blockchain and Cyber. Read his full bio and disclaimers here:

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