U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met on Tuesday with Israeli health officials to discuss opening an Israeli branch of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a Treasury spokesperson told JNS.

Calcalist first reported the meeting.

The meeting, which included Marius Nacht, co-founder of life-sciences and health-care venture capital fund aMoon, and senior executives from Israeli health-maintenance organization Clalit and Sheba Medical Center, was held at the home of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in Herzliya.

The FDA has few branches outside the United States, including those in China, and several European and Latin American nations.

“At first glance, Israel is too small to meet the FDA criteria for a local branch, but the matter is being considered due to the country’s unusually large concentration of biotech and medtech companies,” reported Calcalist, citing a source familiar with the matter. “While it will not replace the need to apply for FDA clearance in the U.S., it could shorten the application process for Israeli companies.”

Estimates are that such a branch could be established in Israel in the near future, the person said.

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