Israel’s Biotech Decade – Gearing up for Biomed 2012
The Times of Israel reported on the direction of Israel’s Biotech sector, looking forward to the Biomed event which will take place in Israel this month, May 21-23. The event expects 6000 visitors from around the world, with 60 Israeli companies presenting.
Ruti Alon, managing director of healthcare investments at Pitango Venture Capital, and chairperson of the Life Sciences division of the Israeli Advanced Technologies Organization (IATA) is quoted in the article as saying “For years, many countries, especially the United States, proceeded very slowly with stem cell research, while Israel continued with research,” she said. “As a result, Israeli companies are among the world’s most advanced in the field.”
Many of the companies will be presenting at Biomed 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, says Alon: “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.”
While Israeli companies developing pharmaceuticals are, in many cases, in advanced clinical trials, Israel’s medical device industry is where the action is at today. “The pharma side is moving forward,” said Alon. “We believe that many of those companies will succeed, either on their own or with partners. But the medical device industry here is very advanced, and has become very big and successful.”
Alon concludes, “The show is a great opportunity for the Israeli biotech industry,” said Alon. “We have a lot to share with the world.”