Three headlines from Israel’s financial press in the past week: -
- Elbit Medical Technologies Ltd. has announced that its subsidiary InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with GE Healthcare, valued at US$27.5m.
- Burrill & Company, one of the world’s leading life sciences investment company is establishing an Israel-centric fund in the order of US$200m.
- For the first time in medical science, Israeli scientists have successfully turned skin cells from heart failure patients into healthy new heart muscle cells.
There are plenty more stories like that out there. Bottom line, the Israeli life science and biotech industry is thriving, consistently achieving medical and commercial breakthroughs.
It should be no surprise that the annual Biomed conference, which took place last week in Tel Aviv was quite awesome. By taking a rather arbitrary measure of noise and buzz, it was way up on the previous year. And the reasons speak for themselves.
- Israel prides itself with over 700 active companies in the field, 6th in the Euro league
- Israel ranks second globally in bio-pharma patents per caipta.
- Teva, Jerusalem, is the 15th largest pharma in the world and largest generic manufacturer.
- The country is a pioneer and leader in cell therapy.
- Aside from Burrill, Clal and Orbimed have major new investment funds in the pipeline.
I am personally acquainted with a story of one senior overseas exec, who visited the Holy Land for the first time during Biomed. To paraphrase what he said: you can read all you want about Israel being a start up nation and being the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. However, when you actually see the activity unfold before your eyes, you know that you have to engage hands-on.