Bonus BioGroup Performs First Human Face Bone Transplant

Evogene plays foray into insect resistance.

Reuters

The Israeli biomedical company Bonus BioGroup said yesterday it had successfully transplanted an artificially grown human bone into a patient’s face for the first time. Bonus BioGroup, which has begun the human-testing phase for its artificially grown bones created from the patient’s own cells, said the transplant was for a human jawbone and that it will take approximately four months to set and heal, it said. The company is planning some 20 bone transplants during the clinical trial. As the manufactured bone grafts come from the same patients receiving the grafts, Bonus BioGroup’s live human bone grafts should enjoy full immunological tolerance, thereby preventing the graft rejection that is a common problem in translating foreign donor tissue. Shares of Bonus closed up 7.5% ay 27 agorot (8 cents) in Tel Aviv. (Shelly Appelberg)

Evogene plays foray into insect resistance

Plant genomics company Evogene said yesterday it is making a $10 million foray into the new segment of insect resistance and control. The company said it would be taking an “innovative approach” to finding the microbial genes responsible for insecticide activity by using the huge amounts of microbial genomic data that have recently become available. “The first insects to be targeted in this important new field of activity, corn rootworm and soybean aphids, are two of the industry’s most devastating and challenging insects,” said CEO Ofer Haviv. Evogene fell 0.87% to close at 60.85 shekels ($17.54) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)

Checkpoint beats quarterly profit forecast

Internet and network security provider Check Point Software Technologies on Tuesday reported higher quarterly profit that topped market expectations by a 1 cent a share. Excluding one-time items, Check Point earned 84 cents a share in the first quarter, up from 79 cents a year earlier as revenue grew 6% to $342 million, the Tel Aviv-based company said. Check Point had been forecast to earn 83 cents a share on revenue of $341.9 million, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. “Combined product and software blade subscription revenue grew by 10%, driven by data center appliances and strong software blades sales,” CEO Gil Shwed said. Check Point shares were down 4.2% in New York at midday at $63.10. (Reuters)

Dollar tumbles 0.46% to 3.468 shekels

The dollar and the euro both tumbled against the shekel yesterday as Israeli export companies stocked up shekels at the end of the month. The dollar fell below 3.47 shekels for the first time in almost two weeks, weakening 0.46% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.468 shekels as the euro dropped 0.52% to 4.806 shekels. In late trading, the greenback extended its losses to 3.4630. “The excess supply of foreign currency held by exporters at the end of the month is contributing to the shekel’s strength even as energy companies are contributing to dollar demands,” said Yossi Fraiman, CEO of Prico Risk Management & Investments. He said the dollar could drop even further, to the range of 3.35 to 3.37 shekels last seen in 2011, adding that there was a risk it would fall to its 2008 low of 3.21 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv shares end lower in thin trading

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on continued thin trading yesterday, led by technology stocks. The benchmark TA-25 index ended 0.2% lower at 1,383.92 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.4% to 1,256.10, all on turnover of a mere 861.5 million shekels ($248 million). TowerJazz led tech stocks lower, falling 4.4% to a close of 27.96 shekels, apparently because Panasonic, its joint venture partner in chip making, forecasts a weaker than expected outlook for 2014. Clal Biotechnology extended its losses, falling 4.4% to a close of 10.75 shekels. Among the gainers, Delek Group rose 2.1% to 1,384 shekels after UBS raised its target prices for the holding company to 1,415 shekels from a previous 1,295. Nevertheless, UBS retained its Neutral recommendation on the stock. In the fixed-income market, the government’s shekel bond due in 2023 edged down 0.01%, leaving its yield at 3.21%, while its inflation-linked bond for the same term dropped 0.21% to raise its yield to 1.12%. (Eran Azran)