Teva, Philips jointly bid in incubator tender

Teva is resuming investments in Israeli start-ups.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Philips Healthcare jointly bid in the Office of the Chief Scientist's technology tender. The companies have established a joint venture, Inspire Healthcare Innovations to serve as the incubator's franchisee, if they win the tender.

This is the first time that Teva is investing in the Israeli life sciences since Shlomo Yanai stepped down as CEO. During the term of his successor, Dr. Jeremy Levin, the company invested $10 million in academic ventures in neurology, but gradually eliminated its investments in local start-ups.

The sources said that the plan is for Inspire Healthcare to choose its investments independently, with no necessary strategic preference by Teva or Philips Healthcare, which operate in different, albeit supplementary fields, anyway. Teva produces pharmaceuticals, and Philips Healthcare manufactures medical devices, especially in the imaging, digital medicine, and home monitoring fields. Both companies are global leaders in their fields, and they have a good chance of winning the tender.

However, after the incubator selects ventures, Teva and Philips Healthcare will set operational guidelines. Philips declined to comment on the report.

Teva was once a partner in an incubator, BiolineRX Ltd. (Nasdaq: BLRX); TASE:BLRX), which was founded by chairman Dr. Aharon Schwartz, who was Teva VP innovative ventures at the time. The company is now a drug development company, but it started out as biotechnology incubator when it won the incubator tender in 2003. Teva never bought the rights to any product developed by BiolineRX, and the company never achieved its goals as far as Teva was concerned, except for the general objective of supporting Israel as a hothouse for medical innovation.

Philips Healthcare has been expanding its development center in Haifa, which has hundreds of employees. It has invested in, or has cooperation agreements with several Israeli companies, including Itamar Medical Ltd. (TASE:ITMR), Corindus Vascular Robotics Ltd., and CDP Medical Developments Ltd.

The deadline for filing bids in the Chief Scientist's tender for the four incubators was March 31.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 2, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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