The days are becoming shorter and cooler – finally! – but there’s still time (just about) for a Good News Friday installment.
My first item is bound to make many of you very happy: Israel’s pharma giant Teva has won FDA approval for its new migraine drug:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ajovy, an injection administered every few months to relieve migraines in adults, the Israeli drugmaker said in a statement late Friday. More than 36 million people in the U.S. suffer from these debilitating episodes, and the medicine could generate around $500 million of sales by 2022, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Besides the excellent financial benefit to Teva from the massive sales expected, adn the surge in their stock value, more importantly millions of people around the world can hope to find relief from these debilitating headaches. Kol hakavod once again to Teva for their excellent research and production.
Another very interesting discovery from Israel is the Technion’s new bacteria gel for treating fungus infections:
Most people will experience a fungal infection at least once in their lifetime, but today’s oral antifungal medications don’t always work well and come with a spectrum of negative side effects ranging from headaches and rash to liver and kidney toxicities.
Now, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering reveal in the journal Advanced Functional Materials that they successfully cured fungal infections in mice using a soil-dwelling bacterium.
The target fungus in the study was Candida, a type of yeast that is one of the primary sources of fungal infections. Candida resides in most people’s bodies harmlessly, but it can grow out of control under certain conditions. The researchers in Haifa found that bacteria called Bacillus subtilis naturally produces and secretes substances that inhibit Candida growth.
Ayelet Shabtay-Orbach, a staff member of the Technion’s Laboratory for Biomaterials, and graduate student Maayan Lupton developed the bacterium into a unique thermo-responsive gel that is in liquid form in the refrigerator and at room temperature (enabling easy application on the skin), but hardens within seconds after being applied to the skin.
The gel not only contains thermo-responsive polymers but also food substances meant to maintain the life of the bacteria on the skin, so that they continue producing antifungal agents to treat the infection.
What a fascinating way to treat fungal infections, which are such a scourge to so many people. Kol hakavod to lead researcher Assistant Professor Boaz Mizrahi and his two assistants as well as three additional researchers from the department of molecular microbiology and biotechnology at Tel Aviv University. Let’s hope that this new treatment is a huge success.
Since we’re on the subject of medicine, Israel’s disaster medical assistance organization IsrAid has been in the news again as a unit was sent to Indonesia to assist after the devastating tsunami this week despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
I think we can give ourselves – and more importantly, to our foreign aid organization – a pat on the back for our disaster assistance even to countries which refuse to enter into diplomatic relations with us. Maybe this will help warm up relations between the two countries.
On this subject, here is a lovely video praising Israel’s disaster assistance:
We can all be proud of our crazy little country. 🙂
With these happy thoughts I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!