The Office of the Chief Scientist and GE Healthcare have signed a cooperation agreement. GE Healthcare Israel general manager Tovi Bachar said that the company would provide selected start-ups support in building strategy, marketing, and production development. GE Healthcare will also make its engineers and laboratories available to the start-ups.
GE Healthcare will not invest in the start-ups, at least not as part of the present agreement. The company will obtain a thorough knowledge of the start-ups, and in some cases may get first refusal rights, although not in the start-ups shares.
Bachar said, "We're mainly seeking collaborations in early diagnosis. We feel quite satisfied with the diagnostic device sector. We want to strengthen our position in biotechnology - molecular imaging, genetics, and pure science products."
GE Healthcare is one of the most active international medical devices companies in Israel. Its Haifa R&D center has 400 employees, and it exports to its parent company products with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales. The R&D center was established on the basis of Elscint and Elbit. A year ago, the company acquired Real Time Image, which develops computerized X-ray imaging solutions. Earlier this year, GE Healthcare acquired Versamed Medical Systems Inc., and signed marketing agreements with WideMed Ltd. (TASE:WDMD) and DeepBreeze Ltd.
The deal with GE Healthcare is similar to the cooperation agreement between the Chief Scientist and Merck Inc. (NYSE: MRK).
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 22, 2008
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