Metabomed Ltd. and ChanBio Ltd. have joined the Merck Serono Israel Bioincubator in Yavne. They join Neviah Genomics Ltd., the first company to join the incubator, in which Merck Serono invested €10 million.
Metabomed, founded by researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, is conducting research on cancer metabolism and computational biology.
ChanBio will concentrate on the discovery of selective antibodies for ion channels as possible therapeutic targets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Earlier this month, Merck KgaA (XETRA: MRK) increased its investment in Qlight Nanotech Ltd. and signed a memorandum of understanding with Kadimastem Ltd. (TASE: KDST), a developer of human pluripotent stem cell-related products, to utilize its screening platform to characterize new compounds for remyelinating agents for multiple sclerosis, and which may also help amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease).
Merck Serono also collaborates the Weizmann Institute of Science to seek innovations that could become the basis for future products.
The innovative landscape of Israel fits in perfectly with our ‘Living Innovation’ claim,” said Merck head of pharmaceuticals Stefan Oschmann. “In Israel, we not only have a past which has led to some of Merck’s most important products like Rebif and Erbitux, but also a promising future because we continue to find very interesting and cutting-edge science and the support here in Israel to translate that science into products."
Oschmann added, ""Strategic investments in external innovation are a key component of our strategy. The MS Ventures fund demonstrates our commitment to creating long-term relationships with and tapping into the innovative entrepreneurial spirit of biotech companies.
“Israel has a quality education system and above-average intellectual capital. Compared with other countries, Israel has the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in the world. In addition, cooperation partners appreciate that Israeli scientists often work in a less conventional manner and are faster at implementing their results."
In 2007, Merck was the first German and the first pharmaceutical and chemical company to sign the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Global Enterprise Framework Collaboration Program. “This program gives us continuous support in identifying and creating new partnerships. In that framework we surely expect more in the upcoming future,” Oschmann said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 28, 2013
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