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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Innovation Update: Winter 2020

Israel’s largest pharmaceutical company Teva will donate more than six million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to U.S. hospitals starting March 31. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israeli Pharmaceutical Company Donates Possible Coronavirus Treatment to U.S. Hospitals

Starting March 31, Israel’s largest pharmaceutical company, Teva, will donate more than six million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to U.S. hospitals. More than 10 million tablets are slated to be shipped to American hospitals within a month. The tablets have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Now, the tablets are being tested to determine their effectiveness in combating coronavirus. U.S. government officials have already called for the tablet’s immediate availability and use. “We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible, as demand for this treatment accelerates, at no cost,” Teva Executive Vice President Brendan O’Grady said. Teva is also reviewing its other products to determine if some could also be of use against the coronavirus.

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Israeli Inventions to Help Healthcare Systems Combat Coronavirus

Israeli innovators have played a major role in helping to find effective healthcare solutions over the years. Now, Israel is working to address COVID-19, from creating virus detection technology to developing antibodies from patients who have recovered from coronavirus.

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United States and Israel Announce Energy Center Winners

On March 6, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Israel's Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz declared three winners to receive a total of up to $55.2 million under the U.S.-Israel Energy Center competitive funding opportunity. Composed of both U.S. and Israeli organizations, the three selected groups will commence five years of research, development and commercialization to create trailblazing technologies in fossil energy, energy storage and energy-water nexus sectors. “The U.S.-Israel Energy Center is a premier hub for innovative energy research, and sends a strong signal of the long-standing special relationship between the U.S. and Israel,” said Secretary Brouillette. “From our collaboration through the Energy Center, we expect to see market-moving technologies that will strengthen our energy security and strengthen our economies. We look forward to continue fostering deep institutional relationships through this groundbreaking initiative.”

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FDA Clears Israeli-Made Robotic Standing Wheelchair for U.S. Release Nationwide

In February, the FDA approved Israel’s robotic standing wheelchair, UPnRIDE, for use across the United States. UPnRIDE is a revolutionary robotic device that allows paraplegics and quadriplegics to safely stand up straight and move around upright. “I have had a long-standing vision that all people confined to a wheelchair should have access to enhanced mobility and enjoy the many health benefits associated with the ability to perform everyday tasks in a standing position. With the introduction of UPnRIDE, this dream is becoming a reality,” said UPnRIDE President and CEO Dr. Amit Goffer. Dr. Goffer also invented ReWalk, a motorized exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand and walk, which is already available in the United States.

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U.S.-Israel BIRD Foundation to Invest $8 Million in 9 New Projects

The U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has allocated $8 million in funding for nine new projects between American and Israeli companies, promoting jointly benefitial collaboration between the two nations. The new projects will involve innovatives in the field of agrotechnology, cleantech, cybersecurity, healthcare IT, life sciences, quantum technology and others. “At the end of 2019, the BIRD Foundation marked the approval of 1,000 projects between Israeli and American companies, since its inception in 1977,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation.

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Type: Innovation Update