50 Years of bringing brilliant ideas from lab to marketAug. 4, 2014
The many groundbreaking products that came out of the labs of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) – including the blockbuster drugs Exelon and Doxil, as well as the hardy cherry tomato – may never have moved from academia to market without Yissum Research Development Company, founded in February 1964 to protect and commercialize HUJI’s intellectual property.
Products based on HUJI inventions generate more than $2 billion in annual sales. Yissum has registered more than 8,500 patents and licensed out 700 technologies. The 90 companies spun out from Yissum over the years include many that ISRAEL21c has featured: Mobileye, ClearJet, CollPlant, Avraham Pharmaceuticals, NasVax, BioCancell and Tiltan Pharmaceuticals, to name a few.
In celebration of Yissum’s 50th anniversary, ISRAEL21c spoke with CEO Yaacov Michlin about how this technology-transfer company earned a place among the top 15 globally in terms of income.
“We have an outside-the-box perspective,” says Michlin, who has been with Yissum for five years and notes that the first 30 years lay the groundwork for the success of the past two decades.
That perspective sees the university as a huge research-and-development operation. By that measuring stick, HUJI may just have the largest R&D department in Israel. It houses some 450 principal investigators in experimental sciences, as well as more than 1,500 graduate and post-doc students actively engaged in R&D.
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