Negev biotech cluster to raise $40-50m

BioNegev is the first Israeli cluster founded on the model of Europe's bioclusters.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that, two years after the founding of BioNegev, the Negev biotechnology innovation center, its founders plan to raise $40-50 million for a new fund to finance its portfolio companies.

Adv. Amos Conforti, who was involved in BioNegev's founding, said, "The fundraising is in the preliminary stages. Management has held initial talks with a large international company that has shown interest in becoming an anchor investor in the fund."

BioNegev is a non-profit organization. Target-In founder and CEO Shai Yarkoni founded BioNegev in 2009 and is its director general. BioNegev is the first Israeli cluster founded on the model of Europe's bioclusters.

BioNegev mediates between biomed companies and institutions in the Negev and parties that can provide support for the biomed industry. Organizations include the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, BG Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd., the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN), Soroka Medical Center, the Negev Development Authority, the Beersheva Municipality, the Advanced Technologies Park, and four incubators owned by Maayan Ventures Ltd. (TASE:MAYN) (the Omer incubator, Rotem Technologies in Dimona, Iris Ventures at Sde Boker, and Ashkelon Technological Industries (ATI)).

Yarkoni told "Globes", "The idea behind the venture is to encourage collaboration between all the parties involved in the cluster and companies in the field in order to create a joint infrastructure and share information and resources, as is the case in Europe."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 21, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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