Experts: Israel set to leap forward as a biotech leaderMay. 11, 2012 | by Avivit Mishmari
The current decade is shaping up to be the biotech decade — and Israel is set to play a pivotal role in the medical revolution that is just beginning to bubble up to the surface.
Companies working on stem cell research, as well as many others doing advanced work in the biotech sphere, will be displaying their technology at this year’s BioMed 2012, which will take place in Tel Aviv on May 21-23. Ruti Alon, managing director of healthcare investments at Pitango Venture Capital, and chairperson of the Life Sciences division of the Israeli Advanced Technologies Organization (IATI), said to The Times of Israel that many of these companies are part of the “second wave” of Israeli biotech firms that have been doing research in their respective fields for the past seven to ten years.
“In the past we saw companies doing more basic research, but now many of the biotech companies in Israel are working at advanced stages. Pharmaceuticals and other products that they have been working on are now in phase-two and -three clinical trials, and approval for market is closer than ever.” Drugs, procedures, and medical devices that are set to go to market in the coming years will turn Israel into one of the world’s leading biotech players, Alon added.
One of the purposes of the show, said Dr. Benny Zeevi, who leads Life Sciences investments at DFJ Tel Aviv Venture Partners, and is chairperson of BioMed 2012, is to display those new developments to potential partners and customers. “Patent expiration is becoming an issue for the large drug companies, and they are looking for new options. Hopefully they will find some of their new technologies and products in Israel.”
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