Israel has long been known for innovation and scientific development, with numerous start-up companies successfully exporting their ideas globally. This past year, however, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many across the world to break habits and adapt to a new reality, and the outcome has been positive. For clinical research in Israel, for instance, the tightening of the borders has meant that innovators must look within Israel for the testing of their products. Regulators have also taken notice, and have participated in the effort by facilitating the approval process for Phase I trials.
Pharma Clinical has spoken with two leading figures in cardiovascular innovation in Israel, to understand the current status of local clinical innovation. According to Prof. Chaim Lotan, Director of the Heart Institute at Hadassah University Medical Center, over the past year the number of medical device trials in Israel has grown significantly, and specifically first-in-man trials that would previously have been conducted abroad.
Prof. Rafi Beyar, former Director of the Rambam Health Campus, concurs with this observation and adds that vast regulatory improvements were made recently – the regulatory approval process is now more digitized, making it shorter and speedier. Prof. Beyar has further noted that, taking into account the large number of medical institutes in this small country, all offering advanced and well-organized medical healthcare, Israel is indeed ripe with opportunity for medical research.