How healthy is Israeli biotech?

Israel’s biotech sector has long been regarded as a world leader. Teva and generic drugs, Given Imaging and miniature cameras, nanotech emerging from Israeli universities – are all signs of great things still to come.

Tuesday saw the launch of a Biomed or health care index on the Israeli stock exchange. Initially valued at over US$2 billion, and worth 2% more after the first day’s trading, the index is comprised of over 40 companies. Three firms, Compugen, GI and Kamada are responsible for almost 30% of the value.

Also this week, two of Israel’s biotech giants have announced a merger. Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI) today announced that it will acquire Biomedical Investments (1997) Ltd. for NIS 84 million in cash, shares and warrants.” The rights’ issue for Intec Pharma, a drug delivery company, was oversubscribed. And yet another firm, InsuLine, is considering a launch on the stock exchange.  

All very encouraging. What I look forward to is hearing more about companies emerging from the country’s successful incubators. That news is in short supply at the moment.

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