Israel Business Update
Volume Il Issue II - January 15, 2006

Prepared by Dr. Mike Cohen of the Galilee Institute (http://www.gogalil.com)

Exclusively for Team M-EDG (http://www.m-edg.com) and its Israel Biomedical Initiative



Israel economy hums despite annual tumult
It was the country's third straight year of strong growth, with the economy expanding nearly 5 percent. The stock market has been hitting record highs; unemployment is at a 10-year low. Israel's central bank is lowering interest rates to 4.5 percent on Monday, putting them well below rates in the United States, an almost unprecedented development. The Israeli shekel is at its strongest level in five years, with the dollar trading at 4.20 shekels. Further, Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, paid $4 billion for an Israeli company, and Donald Trump is developing a 70-story luxury residential tower on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. "Israelis look at the economy, and they've essentially been through these disturbances in the past, and they know the economy is pretty robust and it tends to come back," said Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel. "Things that happen here have a smaller impact on markets than I think they would abroad."


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Israel, Denmark to establish joint investment fund

Denmark and Israel have signed a preliminary contract for the establishment of a joint investment fund. The agreement was signed during a visit to Israel by Danish Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Helge Sander. The intention is to start operating the new fund by the coming summer and to focus on investments in the biotechnology and medical instruments fields. However, the start of the fund depends on a Danish restriction. Since the coming year’s investment budget has already been approved, the Danish investment committee – which is separate from the government – would have to approve the start of the fund, in order to be able to budget money for it.

 

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Lucid Raises $12 Million in Second Round of Financing - Intel Capital led the round

Kfar Netter, ISRAEL--Lucid Information Technologies, a developer of advanced processing solutions for 3D graphics, announced today the completion of a $12 million equity financing for its Series B Preferred Shares. Intel Capital led the round with the participation of its existing investors, Genesis Partners and Giza Venture Capital. The funds will be used to complete the company's product development and prepare for its product launch later this year. "We are excited to receive this investment," said Moshe Steiner, CEO of Lucid Information Technologies. "This is excellent timing for the launching of our international business activities."

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Can-Fite Progresses Through Clinical Trials: Completed Enrolment of 250 Patients in Phase IIb Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Trial
Can-Fite BioPharma (TASE:CFBI), a biotechnology company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, has achieved yet another milestone under the CF101 development and marketing agreement signed with the Japanese company, and will receive a consideration of US$ 500,000. The Company announced today the completion of enrolment of 250 patients in its phase IIb RA trial. Completion of patient enrolment is one of the milestones set forth in the marketing agreement, which was recently signed with the Japanese Seikagaku Corporation, and by achieving this milestone Can-Fite will now receive US$ 500,000.

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Israeli Operation Continues to Pace Herley
John Kelley, Herley President, stated, "The acquisition of the Israeli operation has been an absolute 'home run.'" Israel's list of customers and business continues to grow, and due to the strength of Yonah Adelman's management and his excellent team, Herley Israel now generates as much revenue in a single quarter as it did for an entire year just a few years ago.


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Israel's Nice gets Bangkok airport surveillance deal
NICE Systems (Nasdaq:NICE), the Israel-based global provider of advanced solutions that enable organizations to extract Insight from Interactions(TM) to drive performance, today announced that it has received a 7-digit order for its advanced video recording solutions from Bangkok's new international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand. This new airport was opened in September 2006, and includes the world's largest control tower (132.2m or 434 feet), and the world's second largest single building terminal l (563,000 m2 or over 6 million ft2).

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Eli Lilly Extends Cooperation with Israel's Optimata, Developer of Virtual Patient Technology
Optimata Ltd., of Ramat Gan, Israel, has announced the beginning of a new and expanded collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly & Co. The new collaboration follows the successful completion of a pilot collaboration project with Eli Lilly and involves targeting additional drug candidates. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed. The pilot project utilized Optimata's proprietary Virtual Patient Technology and assisted in the clinical trial design of a novel anti-cancer cytotoxic compound.

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BioControl Launches International, Multi-Center, Clinical Study

BioControl Medical, an Israeli developer of advanced implantable devices for the treatment of autonomic disorders, announced today that it is enrolling patients for an international, multi-center, open-label clinical study of the CardioFit system for the treatment of Congestive Heart Failure at IRB approved sites in Europe, Israel and Australia. CardioFit is a new electrical stimulator system designed to improve heart function through the controlled stimulation of the vagus nerve. Pre-clinical and preliminary clinical data demonstrate that vagus nerve stimulation has a therapeutic role in treating heart failure as it may reduce the heart rate and ventricular volumes in addition to restoring regular rhythm. The CardioFit system has also been found to provide the same benefit when used simultaneously with other existing optimal medical therapies.

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Ohio Lt. Governor Lee Fisher keynotes Ohio-Israel Medical IT Mission

In what is his first public appearance in Northeast Ohio, Ohio Lt. Governor Lee Fisher will provide the opening keynote address to the Ohio-Israel Medical IT Mission on Monday, January 22, 2007 at 9 am at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Independence. SGI Global Business Advisors, an International Economic Development Consulting firm based in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, is organizing a high level medical IT mission of 15-20 Israeli companies to Northeast Ohio January 21-25, 2007. The mission is being organized jointly with the Government of Israel, through its Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) with support from the Israel Trade and Investment Center and the Israel Life Sciences Association (ILSA). SGI is coordinating at its web site www.sgimissions.com a schedule of private, one-on-one meetings with the visiting Israeli companies. In addition, there is a schedule of three public events members of the community can opt to attend.

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United States-Israel Technologies Conference to be held in Herndon, VA this week

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Israeli Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) will be holding an advanced security technology conference from January 16-18 at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, VA. The three-day United States-Israel Technologies Conference, which is free to attend and open to all interested, will bring together U.S. technology firms, government contractors, federal officials, and venture capitalists, as well as 17 of Israel’s leading homeland security technology companies. It will cover topics such as technologies needed to prevent the spread of WMDs, the U.S. security market, and the investment climate in Israel.

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Delegation of Israeli companies to visit Oklahoma
A delegation of Israeli companies will visit Oklahoma City and Norman Jan. 21-23, giving Oklahoma’s bioscience community a chance to meet potential Israeli partners and discover new research opportunities. The event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the OU Office of Technology Development and the Norman Economic Development Coalition. “Israel is one of the world’s leaders when it comes to biomedical research,” said Stephen Prescott, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President. To find out how you can participate in these events or to set up an individual meeting, contact Shawna Turner, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, at 800-879-6552 or 405-815-5136.

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The battle for generics: Size matters

Zocor (generic Simvastatin), Merck’s cholesterol-lowering drug, had sales of $4.38 billion in 2005. The price of this drug fell nearly 70% when Israel’s Teva and Ranbaxy received 180-day exclusivity — to encourage patent challenges for quicker availability of lower-cost generics the US FDA provides this incentive, a 180-day period in which other generics are not allowed — for the generic version. The once over $5 billion market for this drug is expected to crash to a tenth at $500 million following US FDA approval for eight more generics in December 2006, at the end of the 180-day exclusivity.

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Telekom Serbia Selects Gilat’s SkyEdge for Public Telephony and Enterprise Applications
PETAH TIKVA, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: GILT) today announced that Telekom Serbia, the incumbent telecom carrier in Serbia, will deploy Gilat’s SkyEdge broadband satellite hub and several hundred VSATs to serve its residential and corporate customers. To meet its Universal Service Obligation (USO) requirements, Telekom Serbia will deploy SkyEdge VSATs at remote community centers throughout Serbia to provide citizens with reliable telephony, fax and broadband Internet access. Telekom Serbia will also use the VSATs to serve its customers in the television rebroadcasting and enterprise networking sectors.

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“Sunday Times” of London zeros in on Israel as cause for Crude oil price bounce

Crude oil briefly bounced $1.25 cents to $57.75 / barrel following an article in the “Sunday Times” of London, indicating that Israel has drawn up plans to destroy Iranian uranium enrichment facilities with a tactical nuclear strike. The Times said: “Israelis have become increasingly convinced that a “second holocaust” of the Jews is brewing, stoked by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president and chief Holocaust denier, who has repeatedly called for Israel to be destroyed.”  But speculation of a future war between Israel and Iran is baseless. That’s the majority opinion of Tel-Aviv traders and the crude oil markets these days. The Tel-Aviv-100 stock index rose to a record high of 945.5 last week, up 15% from a year earlier, close behind the MSCI Emerging market index which gained 19 percent. Israel’s economy expanded by a healthy 5% last year, losing 0.9% of growth due to $3.4 billion of damages from the summer war with Hizbollah.

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American Technion Society’s Southern Region raises $85 million
A recent string of major gifts have helped the American Technion Society (ATS) eclipse its campaign goal for the 1996-2006 "Shaping Israel’s Future" campaign to raise $750 million for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. This includes an astounding $88.4 million raised by the ATS Southern Region based in South Florida. Fueled by this momentum, the ATS – the leading organization raising funds for education in Israel – has announced an ambitious plan to raise an additional $250 million over the next three years, transforming the campaign into an historic quest for $1 billion.

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INTRODUCING…INTRODUCING… INTRODUCING…INTRODUCING… INTRODUCING…INTRODUCING… INTRODUCING…

Volunteers For Israel

When Ruth Rennie made her first trip to Israel as a tourist, she witnessed a country that needed help and she wanted to make a contribution. She was so fascinated by the country, the friendliness of the people and being part of something really important that two years later she returned as a leader of her own group of volunteers. "The program is three weeks long and we live in an Army camp," explained Rennie, 73, of Hemet, CA. "The work is light manual labor. Our particular group works with medical supplies -- refurbishing medical field kits." She has since made 22 annual trips with Christian groups from local churches. "Even though we are from different Christian denominations, we're comfortable together," she said, adding that it is also a spiritual experience. "It's like a short-term Peace Corps trip," she said. "It made the Bible come alive for me."

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