Technion teams with Sun on cancer drug development


The drugs being developed are based on the technology of Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Aaron Ciechanover and others.

The Israeli biotech industry and institutions of higher learning are tightening their connections with India. The Technion Israel Institute of Technology and T3, its commercialization company headed by CEO Benjamin Soffer, have announced a cooperation agreement with Indian pharmaceutical company Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for the development of new products for treatment of cancer. This development is based on the technology of Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Dr. Gila Maor, and Technion Prof. Ofer Binah. The pre-clinical research has thus far been financed by Dr. Alfred Mann.

Sun, well known in Israel as a competitor of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) in the generic field, is the largest generic drug company in India and the world's fifth largest. The company, which has expanded into innovative drugs in recent years, already has strong ties with Israel. Its chairman is former Teva CEO Israel Makov, and company founder, controlling shareholder, and managing director Dilip Shanghvi has invested in Bio-Light Israeli Life Sciences Investments Ltd. (TASE:BOLT; Bulletin Board: BLGTY), controlled by Makov. Sun is also the controlling shareholder in Israeli generic company Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TARO), and has a $35 billion market cap.

"The new agreement between Sun Pharma and Technion gives us great hope," Ciechanover and Binah said. "We are confident that this collaboration will help us move rapidly forward with our research. We explored several collaboration alternatives, but Sun Pharma’s market leadership and its long term commitment have made this collaboration a very high priority for us. The Technion is very satisfied with the agreement. We sincerely believe this agreement represents the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between the Technion and Sun Pharma."

"This collaboration is part of the various initiatives that Sun Pharma is taking to enhance its specialty pipeline. Mutually beneficial partnerships with independent research institutes, especially world renowned institutes, such as the Technion, is our preferred route to bring to the market, innovative products for unmet medical needs” said Sun Pharma senior VP business development Kirti Ganorkar.

Sun Pharma's 2014 consolidated revenue totaled $4.5 billion (pro forma, after acquiring Indian competitor Ranbaxy), half of which came from the US. Starting in 2007, and increasingly in recent years, the company is also investing in innovative R&D, in addition to generic drugs.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 4, 2015

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