Three selected news about business, innovation and sustainability from Israel. Today the three fields are: Innovation: Platform for Sensors, Sustainability: Platform Against Cancer powered by AI, Business: Platform Against Virus
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Sustainability – Platform Against Cancer powered by AI > ROCHE and EralySingn (Tel Aviv)
EarlySign Announces Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Roche on AI Solution for Early Detection of Lung Cancer.
Medial EarlySign (earlysign.com), a pioneering company developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) based clinical predictive analytics, announced today the signing of a new partnership with Roche, which will focus on innovative, evidence-based solutions for early detection of lung cancer.
In 2020, over 235,000 people in the US and over 2.2 million people worldwide were diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer has the second largest incidence of all cancers and is the deadliest cancer for both men and women.
The goal of this new collaborative effort is to deliver validated clinical machine learning models to advance lung cancer identification which can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment. Early identification of high-risk individuals has the potential to improve lung cancer survival rates by finding the disease at an earlier stage when it is more likely to be curable.
Innovation – Platform for Sensors > Tel Aviv University and Fraunhofer
Tel Aviv University and German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft – Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, numbering 70 branches and 30,000 employees, have established a new collaboration: a joint innovation platform for applied research in the field of sensors. Specifically, TAU will collaborate with Fraunhofer EMFT – the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft unit specializing in applied research into sensors and actuators. The new platform, entitled FIP-SENS@TAU (Fraunhofer Innovation Platform for Sensors and Applied Systems at Tel Aviv University) was inaugurated at a special ceremony at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, attended by dozens of dignitaries from both nations, including German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Israeli Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor and other leading representatives of the industrial, public, and academic sectors. The agreement was signed by Prof. Dan Peer, TAU’s VP R&D, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
Business – Platform Against Virus > Hebrew University & Startup ViroBlock
ViroBlock, a startup company founded by Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) researchers, has developed a new drug platform for rapidly generating anti-viral drugs that target proteins common to all viruses.
“Currently, there are no efficient, validated platforms for rapidly generating anti-viral drugs,” says ViroBlock CEO and Founder Isaiah (Shy) Arkin, who is also an HU professor of biological chemistry in the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences. “Scientists must develop new agents and a customized approach to target every new virus, without the ability to predict how that virus will develop resistance. ViroBlock is working on a promising drug candidate for COVID-19 using an approach that can be duplicated with most other important viruses.”
According to a new study conducted by pharma research company Evotec, ViroBlock’s new technology platform demonstrated the potential to rapidly provide solutions for treating current and emerging viral threats, including COVID-19 and variants, influenza, Zika, West Nile, and Hepatitis B. The study showed that channel blockers it identified could protect cells from viral-induced death alongside dramatically lowering the amount of viral progeny.
ViroBlock’s antiviral drug candidates inhibit two targets in the virus: the E (envelope) protein and the 3a protein. The E protein is an ion channel, a type of protein family expressed by virtually all living cells that because of its structure has served as a frequent target for pharmaceutical point interventions. For example, while the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 (the 2003 virus) are only about 75% identical, their E proteins are roughly 95% alike. This means the ViroBlock drugs would likely remain effective even when the virus mutates.