Clinical trials in Israel decline sharply

Medical research  credit: Shutterstock
Medical research credit: Shutterstock

Revenue from trials by international companies in Israeli hospitals fell to NIS 518 million in 2023 from NIS 818 million in 2022.

Clinical trials carried out by international companies in Israel declined sharply in 2023, according to a report by the Ministry of Health. In recent years, such trials have contributed a large part of the revenue of Israeli hospitals. They are also important in giving patients access to the most up-to-date technologies, and for maintaining the international status of Israeli doctors and training them in the use of the newest products.

In 2022, Israeli hospitals derived NIS 818 million revenue from clinical trials, but in 2023 the figure was only NIS 518 million. Besides the war that broke out at the beginning of the fourth quarter of last year, and the effect of the judicial reform program, the decline was because of a global decline in biomedical research that year.

The revenue from clinical trials in 2023 was the lowest since 2014, but the negative trend began in 2022, when revenue was down 15% in comparison with 2021, a record year for clinical trials. The period 2020-2021 saw peak activity in global biomedical research, and was especially successful for clinical trials in Israel thanks to collaborative efforts on the Covid-19 virus. The positioning of Israel’s health system as a good source of data in view of its response to the pandemic helped to attract clinical trials in other fields as well. But, as mentioned, the charm began to wear off in 2022, and the situation worsened in 2023.

The hospital with the highest revenue from clinical trials in 2023 was Sheba, which also headed the list in 2022. Rambam was second, while Ichilov was fifth in 2023 after leading the table in 2021.

Merck & Co., Inc. was by some way the largest investor in clinical trials in Israel in the last three years, but even its investment halved in 2023 in comparison with 2022, from NIS 121 million to NIS 60 million. Other leading companies in this respect were AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Genentech (Roche), Novartis, Pfizer, and Amgen.

The Ministry of Health document also lists the practitioners who received the highest budgets for clinical trials. The table is headed by oncologist Dr. Ronnie Shapira-Frommer of Sheba Hospital, who led ten studies in 2023 with a combined budget of NIS 9.4 million. She is followed by Prof. Michael Shechter, a heart specialist, also from Sheba; oncologist Dr. Avivit Peer of Rambam Hospital; Dr. Hila Magen, a specialist in hemato-oncology at Sheba; and Prof. Salomon Stemmer, an oncologist at Beilinson Hospital (Rabin Medical Center).

Many doctors have expressed the fear that the continuing war and Israel political status in the world will lead international companies to cease carrying out clinical trials here. There are no figures for 2024 yet, but in fact the hospitals report an improving trend so far in comparison with 2023.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 18, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Medical research  credit: Shutterstock
Medical research credit: Shutterstock
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018